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Untreated Varicose Veins Can Lead to Serious Problems

by Alex Kilpatrick

For most people, gnarly varicose veins are just unsightly. For some individuals, however, varicose veins can lead to life-threatening issues. Even if your varicose veins don’t hurt, it’s wise to schedule a doctor’s examination and find out if a relatively simple procedure to remove enlarged veins is recommended in your situation.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

The worst case scenario involving varicose veins is potentially fatal deep vein thrombosis (DVT). People with varicose veins are already predisposed to superficial thrombosis, or blood clots. Without treatment, progression to DVT is possible. In DVT, a blood clot blocks circulation, and can move from its place in the deeper leg veins to the lungs, resulting in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Leg Ulcers

When the skin near the varicose veins deteriorates, the result is leg sores, or ulcers. These ulcers generally occur because chronic venous insufficiency has developed in neighboring tissues. If the area around your varicose veins swells, starts itching or otherwise becomes painful and inflamed, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Most typically, these ulcers develop on the inner leg, above the ankle.


Lipodermosclerosis refers to hardening of leg tissues. Overweight patients with varicose veins are at greatest risk. The condition is quite painful, with symptoms including swelling, heaviness in the legs and redness, along with skin hardening. The leg discoloration results from blood leaking from weakened varicose veins into nearby tissues. Leg ulcers may also form. Because so much blood has leaked, a minor cut may lead to significant blood loss.

The Good News

If the idea of developing any of these conditions scares you, relax. An ounce of prevention when it comes to varicose veins issues truly is a worth a pound of cure. Preventive varicose vein removal not only improves the cosmetic appearance of your legs, but may save your health and mobility in the long run. In most cases, insurance companies will pay for varicose vein removal if not treating the enlarged veins can lead to medical problems.


Most varicose vein patients benefit from an outpatient procedure called sclerotherapy. The doctor performs a series of injections in the affected veins with a sclerosant. These injections eventually cause the vein to scar internally and collapse. It is not a painful procedure and most patients can resume their normal routine – although not heavy exercise – the following day. The number of office visits and injections vary according to the patient.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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