Vein disease, which includes varicose veins, can have an adverse affect on your health if left untreated. In fact, patients who suffer from varicose veins are at an 18 times higher risk of developing phlebitis compared to those without varicose veins. [1,2]
Interestingly, many people believe the many myths that surround varicose veins, and this often puts them at a higher risk for more serious medical conditions.
Varicose veins or venous insufficiency can develop into serious conditions such as thrombosis — a clotting of the veins. If allowed to worsen, this condition can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a clotting of the blood that develops in the larger, deeper veins and can cause complications in the legs, skin, and circulatory system.
Often, one of the problems with the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease is that the symptoms are often ignored. The symptoms include swollen or painful legs, heaviness, itchiness, and the appearance of varicose veins. Additionally, many people who may be suffering from varicose veins will not seek treatment because they do not feel any pain. Unfortunately, even without pain, other symptoms should be considered warning signs.
Venous insufficiency is the main cause of varicose veins and is a condition where the valves in the veins become weak or fail, causing the blood to flow backward and pool in the veins. This pooling results in the bulging, swollen appearance of varicose veins.
Similar too many other medical conditions, the earlier a proper diagnosis is determined, the sooner a patient can start the proper treatment — all leading to a greater chance of additional complications.
Many people may be hesitant to undergo diagnosis and especially treatment for varicose veins because past treatment procedures, including compression garments and painful “stripping” of veins, were often painful and uncomfortable. Today’s treatments are far more effective and painless. Treatments include Sclerotherapy — a fairly painless injection, and laser ablation. Both of these can return you to your normal activities within the same day.
If you feel you need a proper diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, Dr. Wright and his staff at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center can correctly diagnose your condition, along with offering the proper treatment options that can help you!
1. Guex, J.J., Thrombotic Complications of Varicose Veins. Dermatol Surg 1996; 22:378-382. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1996.tb00336.x/abstract
2. Marchiori, A. Superficial Vein Thrombosis: Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment, Semin Thromb Hemost 2006; 32:737-743. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180510/