03.27.23 CVL Varicose Veins

Trouble Afoot: Can Varicose Veins Lead to Blood Clots?

Varicose veins are often discussed in terms of discomfort and appearance with many people under the belief that if you can’t stand the way they look or feel you should consider removing them via surgery. While this mindset is valid, it doesn’t take into account that issues with varicose veins can go beyond aesthetics or mild irritation. Diseased veins can lead to complications, which is why it is important to check in with your body and monitor any new or prolonged symptoms. By doing so, you will recognize if symptoms are worsening and if they could be warning you about one of the more serious complications: blood clots.

Blood clots can form for a multitude of reasons. One reason is sluggish blood flow. When blood is not circulating, it wants to clot. Varicose veins are unhealthy, damaged, and dilated veins that are no longer able to efficiently do their job of circulating blood. Because of this, it is not uncommon to develop clots within those veins at times. Superficial blood clots (occurring in veins closer to the surface of the skin), can typically be treated with Aleve or Motrin, warm compresses, and compression. However, because your body is a network of connecting vessels that make it easy for a blood clot to propagate, it’s always wise to contact your physician if you suspect you have a blood clot (superficial or otherwise). Blood clots that occur in deep veins (closer to the center of your leg) are serious and can be life-threatening. These are called DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) and can migrate to your heart or lungs often with dire consequences. If you suspect a DVT, contact your physicians immediately or head to an Urgent Care Center or ER for an ultrasound.  

To identify the signs of a blood clot, look out for the following:

●      Swelling in only one leg that has come on rather suddenly

●      Cramping and charley horses frequently occurring in one leg

●      Swollen veins that are hard, tender, and warm to the touch

●      Change in color of one leg 

●      Skin is warm to the touch and itchy in one leg

●      Pain in one leg that worsens with activity

For those currently suffering from varicose veins, it can be unnerving to read this, but it’s essential to know the risks. If you are interested in treating your varicose veins—and eliminating their risk for blood clots—we would be happy to guide you through the process. We’ve helped hundreds of patients find relief from varicose veins with minimally invasive procedures done in the office in less than an hour. To get started, please call us at 866-695-8346 to schedule a consultation.

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