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Are Varicose Veins a Health Risk?

No…and yes.

In general varicose (bulging) veins that aren’t working will create problems, but they don’t generally create a “ health risk”. By that I mean they don’t put you at risk for life threatening problems. People with varicose veins do; however, have a very slightly increased (10% over the general population) chance of developing a Deep Venous Thrombosis (clot) – this is a clot in the deep venous system of your leg. (Remember the deep system, which you can’t see, carries most of the blood from your leg back to your heart) DVT’s, if left untreated, can dislodge, travel in your blood and cause strokes. When these clots are detected we treat patients with blood thinners for up to 3 months until the clot resolves.

So what does happen to untreated varicose veins?

Clots may form in the bulging superficial veins – this is called “thrombophlebitis” and will cause warmth and tenderness over the vein, but will not cause strokes or other problems.

Varicose veins can eventually cause lower leg swelling (edema), skin breakdown (ulceration) and skin pigmentation (stasis dermatitis). Varicose veins may also bleed briskly if cut or scraped. All nasty stuff.

Come see us at Durham Vein and Laser Centre and let us tailor a treatment for you.

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