08.15.17 Dr. Garth Rosenberg Blood Clots and Flying

Don't Ignore the Risks and Dangers of Untreated Varicose Veins

Patients are not always aware of the risks and dangers of untreated varicose veins, but as a progressive medical condition, these abnormal veins can cause a multitude of problems like blood clots, skin discoloration and leg ulcers.

Varicose veins develop because the one-way valves in the leg veins become dysfunctional and unable to resist the downward pressure of gravity. As gravity keeps a steady push on the veins, blood flows down the leg instead of up, and the surface veins start to stretch and become deformed. It is much like blowing up a balloon, where enough air pressure cause the balloon to inflate, so too does the venous pressure cause leg veins to bulge.

As the flow in these enlarged surface veins is abnormal, the risk of clots increases. Phlebitis, and even DVT (deep vein clots), can ensue, some of which are life threatening. Fortunately, early treatment of venous disease can mitigate the risk of clots and improve overall leg health.

When the venous insufficiency due to these damaged valves persists, skin discoloration can follow as the pigments from the small blood cells gets deposited in the tissues. The skin may become thickened and tender leading to permanent changes. In addition, venous stasis ulcers can develop at the sites of discoloration leading to long term wound healing problems.

Early intervention to treat varicose veins is very beneficial in reducing the risks and dangers of venous disease. Commonly, saphenous vein reflux is the source of varicosities, and endovenous ablation with VNUS Closure is the gold standard in treating this condition. The procedure normalized venous flow and help prevent the progression to threatening conditions. On occasion, microphlebectomy is needed to complete the effective removal of large varicose veins to ensure the most durable result.

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