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Are My Varicose Veins a Health Risk?

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are bulgy, twisted veins under the surface of your skin. They typically appear on your legs and feet, and all too often, they make you dread shorts, sandals, and warmer weather. But are varicose veins really just a cosmetic concern?

Almost 1 in 4 American adults have varicose veins, and they’re one of the most common vascular conditions in the United States. Those unsightly veins can be a source of embarrassment, and in some cases, they could pose some pretty serious health complications.

The team at Wellness and Surgery, located in Ardsley, New York, specializes in diagnosing and treating varicose veins. Whether you’re bothered by the way your legs look or you’re worried about potential complications, we bring the latest varicose vein treatments to you.

Complications of varicose veins

Most of the time, varicose veins don’t cause other health problems. You could have varicose veins for years without any negative symptoms, and you might only choose to have them treated if you’re embarrassed by the way they look.

But, sometimes, varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic issue. Untreated varicose veins could lead to:

Leg pain

Leg pain is the most common symptom of varicose veins. Although varicose veins can develop anywhere in your body, they often form in your legs or feet. The veins in your legs are under extra pressure when you walk and stand, increasing your risk of valve malfunction.

When the valves in your veins stop working properly, blood flows backward and pools, creating a large, swollen varicose vein. Pooling blood can make your legs feel achy or heavy. In more severe cases, leg pain can feel like a throbbing or burning sensation and be accompanied by swelling and itchiness.

Stasis ulcers

Pooling blood in varicose veins increases pressure inside the veins. This increased pressure stretches the walls of your veins, and it could lead to chronic swelling around the vein. If this happens, proteins from your blood may leak into nearby tissues and cause a stasis, or skin, ulcer. 

These ulcers often appear around your calf or ankle. They’re typically flat but large, and have visible symptoms like skin discoloration and scaling. The discoloration that comes with stasis ulcers is usually dark red or purple due to blood in surrounding tissue.

Blood clots

In rare cases, varicose veins could cause blood clots. Clots can form in varicose veins just under the surface of your skin, causing swelling and tenderness around the vein. Blood clots in these superficial veins can be painful, but they typically don’t cause more serious health complications.

If a blood clot forms in a varicose vein that’s deep inside your leg, it could develop into deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a serious medical condition that could lead to pulmonary embolism or other complications.

Treatment for your varicose veins

Our team offers comprehensive vein evaluations, whether you’re concerned about the way your veins look or you’re bothered by leg pain or other symptoms.

We do a physical exam of your affected veins, using ultrasound testing as needed to assess the extent of your condition. Common treatment options for varicose veins include lifestyle changes, sclerotherapy, and laser treatment, and we can help you find the best combination of treatments for your needs.

Don't have to worry about your varicose veins any longer. Schedule a vein consultation at Wellness and Surgery to get a personalized treatment plan. Contact us online or call our office today.

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