Blood Clot Risk With Varicose Veins
I saw an interesting patient yesterday who came to the office complaining of two weeks of a progressively painful left leg. She has a many year history of mildly painful varicose veins and was discouraged to undergo varicose vein treatment by her family doctor who did not realize the potential risks that patients with varicose veins face. Varicose veins clearly present a medical problem and treatment is recognized as medically necessary by insurance payers.
By the time the patient saw me, she had a painful, swollen leg and tender hard varicose veins. Clearly, she had a superficial phlebitis of these large varicosities, but her venous duplex scan unexpectedly showed an extensive DVT that began as phlebitis in the varicose veins. This life threatening complication is a known risk factor complicating even mild to moderate varicose veins. I started her on Xarelto immediately and she will have a long course of blood thinners with potential long term effects of the blood clot.
It's important to understand that varicose veins involve disordered and turbulent blood flow that encourages clot formation. Commonly large surface varicose vein symptoms include leg pain, heaviness, fatigue, throbbing and even restless leg syndrome. However, both phlebitis and DVT are know complications that we hope to avoid by early treatment of varicose veins.
Saphenous vein reflux is the typical cause of varicose veins, and this is effectively and easily treated with VNUS Closure as well as VenaSeal and Clarivein, all of which are office based procedures performed under local anesthesia with immediate return to normal activity.
Patients should remain aware that varicose veins represent abnormal circulation in the leg, and treatment is very successful at preserving good leg health, a critical factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.