Are Varicose Veins Dangerous? Here’s What You Need to Know

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
June 23, 2020 0 Comments

Varicose veins. If you don’t already have them, there’s a one in four chance that you’ll get them. At last count, nearly one-quarter of Americans have varicose veins— that’s over 40 million people. Women are 50% more likely to suffer from this incurable condition. And if you have a family member who has or had varicose veins, you are 90% more likely to develop them yourself. Seeing these bulging twisted veins pop up under your skin can be unsettling. They definitely put a blight on a smooth, even skin tone, but when you see one pop up, it’s also natural to ask, “Are varicose veins dangerous?”

A Quick Look at Varicose Veins

Varicose veins bulge out beneath the surface of the skin. They can have a swollen, twisted, or engorged appearance and look like they might burst.

They develop when the valves responsible for moving the blood back towards the heart become weak or damaged. If the blood flow is weak, blood will begin to pool up and cause varicose veins.

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous? They Can Be

20% of the time, varicose veins are only a cosmetic concern. The other 80% of the time, they can have complications or even be warning signals of serious underlying health issues.

Although rare, three main complications can arise from varicose veins.

  • Discoloration near varicose veins is the precursor to an ulcer. Once the ulcer forms on the skin, it can be painful.
  • Blood clots. On occasion, deep leg veins become enlarged. When this happens, the affected leg may swell and feel painful. Blood clots can be life-threatening.
  • Bleeding. Sometimes veins close to the surface of the skin may burst and cause bleeding.

A recent study has shown that three dangerous underlying conditions have been linked to varicose veins.

  1. Deep vein thrombosis is linked to the aforementioned blood clots. When a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in your body, it causes leg pain and swelling. It can also break loose and travel to your lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism.
  2. Pulmonary embolism(PE) is a life-threatening condition that presents in the form of chest pain and shortness of breath. PE requires immediate medical attention.
  3. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. Too little blood flow to keep up with demand causes symptoms like leg pain when walking. PAD can also be a sign of the widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries, which may reduce blood flow to your heart, brain, and legs.

How Do You Know When Your Varicose Veins Are Dangerous?

Are you experiencing increased pain or swelling or pain in your legs? Is the pain persistent? You may have a blood clot. It’s time to see a doctor.

Did the increased pain or swelling come on suddenly? If the answer is yes, then you need to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Is there a brownish skin discoloration on your veins or legs? Is it red, hot, or painful? If the answer is yes, then it is time to go to your varicose veins checked out.

Have ulcers formed near varicose veins on your ankles or legs? Visit the doctor immediately.

Has one of your varicose veins burst? Is it bleeding? Any bleeding requires immediate medical attention.

Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

If you are doing your research, you will find a variety of providers that offer treatment, including dermatologists, technicians, “med spas,” specialty vein clinics, plastic surgeons, and other types of surgeons. Some providers may be limited in the types of treatments that they can provide, while others may not be qualified to treat your medical needs. Not so at Denver Vein Center. Vein treatment and removal is our specialty and has been for 15 years. Each varicose vein treatment has a different method and provides various benefits to patients. Our treatment and removal options include:

Endovenous Laser Ablation of the Saphenous Vein (ELAS)

ELAS is a clinically proven, FDA approved technique that permanently eliminates varicose veins. This procedure is performed under local anesthetic and causes no damage to the surrounding tissue.

We use an ultrasound to find the right place to puncture the damaged vein and insert a tiny thin laser. After creating heat that causes the vein to collapse, the laser is removed. The abnormal vein is then closed off so that the blood flow will redirect through the healthy veins in the leg.

Benefits of ELAS

  • No Surgery
  • Remove Unsightly Veins
  • Relief of Symptoms
  • Treatment Addresses the Underlying Problem
  • Minimally Invasive
  • Performed Under Local Anesthetic
  • Office Procedure
  • Fast Recovery
  • Prevents Progression of the Disease
  • No Scarring

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory Phlebectomy is a method of removing very twisted varicose veins on the surface of the legs. The procedure involves making tiny punctures on the surface of the skin to remove the veins. This procedure is performed under local anesthetic, and the incisions are so small no stitches are required. We often combine this procedure with ELAS.

Benefits of Ambulatory Phlebectomy

  • Remove Unsightly Veins
  • Relief of Symptoms
  • Performed Under Local Anesthetic
  • Excellent Long-Term Results
  • No Scarring

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

This treatment is a non-surgical procedure where we inject a solution into the problem veins. The vein collapses and is absorbed by the body.

Benefits of Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

  • Remove Unsightly Veins
  • No Downtime
  • Treatment Directed Specifically at the Problem
  • Painless
  • No Scarring

What to expect when you come into Denver Vein Center for treatments

Before determining which treatment is best, we have to determine the cause of the varicose vein. We will perform a painless non-invasive ultrasound test, which allows the physician to watch the direction the blood is flowing and determine if there are any damaged valves.

After we diagnose the problem, we will create a customized plan of treatment, explain any recommended procedures, and explain how to work with your insurance company to get your treatment covered.

We will partner with you from diagnosis through the completion of your treatment. We’ll even follow-up with you just in case you need anything in the future! Check out our gallery of before and after photos!

Call our office and schedule your consultation today!