Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
Varicose veins create a dangerous condition where the pools and creates painful swollen veins that can lead to dangerous health issues including leg ulcers, infection and pulmonary embolism.
How are these dangerous veins created?
Veins are thin-walled tubes that contain valves to move the blood to the heart and lungs. The valves prevent the backflow of blood. When the valves or the vein wall becomes damaged, which can be due to age, gender, excess weight, genetics, trauma to the veins, or sitting or standing for long periods of time, they allow for blood to pool in the vein and stretch the vein.
This process leads to the engorged, gnarled veins that we know of as varicose veins. Varicose veins have an obvious and unsightly appearance, but they pose a potential danger along with their unsightly appearance. Read more about the dangers of varicose veins in this post below.
Pain from Varicose Veins
Pain is a common factor for varicose veins, but not all individuals suffer from pain. Those that do suffer from pain describe the pain as throbbing, heaviness, and muscle cramping.
At-Home Treatment for for Pain & Other Symptoms
Common at home treatments that usually alleviate pain and symptoms of swelling are elevating the legs, stretching, exercises, position change, avoidance of heat, and use of compression stockings. When pain and swelling are resistant to these types of conservative therapies, there may be complications with increased swelling and pain.
Chronic and increased swelling can cause complications, such as:
As blood accumulates and pools in the veins, this makes for a large amount of blood in a small area that can lead to dangerous complications, such as:
What to do About Varicose Veins
With all things considered, varicose veins are not always considered dangerous, but there are some concerning complications. Most home therapies should help to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins, but if not there are further options for treatment.
Watching for redness, swelling, and rope or cord like veins in the legs should prompt you to see medical attention to rule out complications that may require further medical management or treatment.
Contact the office of Dr. Edward Mackay, a board certified vascular surgeon providing services to patients in the Tampa area.