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Are My Varicose Veins Dangerous to My Health?

Are My Varicose Veins Dangerous to My Health?

The cosmetic appearance of varicose veins is the primary concern for most people. Although varicose veins are rarely dangerous, they can cause health complications, and they provide a clue to your vascular health. 

Dr. Majed Chane and the rest of the team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists specialize in treating varicose veins and are dedicated to excellence in cardiovascular care. The most appropriate treatment approach depends on the size, number, and location of your varicose veins. 

How varicose veins develop

Bluish, bulging veins that run just below the skin's surface are typical signs of varicose veins. They most often show up on the legs. Spider veins are smaller varicose veins that resemble a spider web, hence their name. 

While varicose veins aren’t life-threatening, they are a sign of compromised vascular health. They indicate that the valves in the veins of your legs are weak or otherwise damaged. They can cause symptoms such as ankle swelling, itchy skin, and cramping or pain in the affected leg. 

Potential complications

Varicose veins can lead to complications if left untreated. These complications can include:

Pain and discomfort

Beyond their appearance, varicose veins can cause aching, throbbing, and cramping in the legs. These symptoms typically worsen after prolonged standing or sitting, leading to significant discomfort.

Skin conditions

In some cases, varicose veins can lead to skin problems such as eczema, a condition characterized by itchy, red, and flaky skin around the affected veins. Additionally, venous ulcers may form, particularly around the ankles. This is a more serious condition that requires medical attention.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Perhaps the most concerning potential complication are blood clots that may form in the veins — a serious complication known as deep vein thrombosis. DVT is a serious condition that can cause pain and swelling in the leg and may lead to pulmonary embolism if a clot travels to the lungs, a life-threatening situation.

Varicose vein prevention and treatment

The good news is that lifestyle changes and medical treatments can effectively manage varicose veins. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting can help reduce your risk and alleviate symptoms. 

If you’re experiencing discomfort or concerned about the appearance of varicose veins, several treatment options are available:

Compression stockings

Wearing compression stockings can help by applying gentle pressure to your legs, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of clotting.

Minimally invasive procedures

Techniques such as VenaSeal, radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, laser therapy, and microphlebectomy offer effective, less invasive solutions for removing or closing off affected veins.

Surgery

In more severe cases, Dr. Chane may recommend surgical options such as vein stripping to remove large varicose veins.

Varicose veins warrant attention due to the potential for discomfort and complications. Treating varicose veins improves your vascular health, and that’s beneficial to your overall health. If you're concerned about your varicose veins, contact CA Heart and Vein Specialists today.

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