Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue. Untreated varicose veins can cause serious problems. We take a look at the importance of varicose vein removal.
Spider veins, age veins, visible veins. People have a lot of terms for the medical issue: varicose veins.
Contrary to popular beliefs, these veins aren’t just a cosmetic issue. They can pop up before a major health crisis. Why? They’re usually the product of a blood clot.
The veins become more visible because the body is working harder to pump blood. Even if your doctor has tested your varicose veins and isn’t worried about a blood clot – there are some serious risks with leaving them untreated.
What are the risks of avoiding varicose vein removal? Keep reading below to see.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins and their close cousin spider veins are different. It’s normal for most people throughout their lifetime to see some spider veins near the surface of their skin.
Spider veins look like web patterns in a red or blue color under your skin. They’re a cosmetic issue and only need to be treated if they bother you.
Varicose veins, on the other hand, are more than visible. Over time, they’ll start to puff out and be more obvious under your skin. They may feel puffy and twisted like they’re pressurized.
That’s because they are. And if the varicose veins get really bad, they may start to hurt.
How Do They Form?
These painful vein patterns are created when blood pools in the veins. This happens for a lot of reasons, but biologically it occurs when vein walls get weak (with age or other health issues).
As the blood pools and collects where it should be flowing, pain and discomfort follow. It’s also possible, even probable, for those pools of blood to become blood clots.
And a blood clot is always bad news!
Other than feeling pain and potentially getting a blood clot, what happens if your veins get left untreated? See the health effects below.
Symptoms of No Varicose Vein Removal
If you decide that your veins aren’t bothering you and don’t get them looked at, here’s what could happen. The following effects are serious and sometimes life-threatening, so call your doctor if you suspect any of the following.
Issue 1: Ulcers
If you have blood pooling under your skin, it’s not getting everywhere it needs to go in the body. That includes to wounds, even small cuts, that it could easily heal.
People with varicose veins can develop skin ulcers from wounds or cuts that would usually heal on their own. The area swells and the tension from the veins prevents the swelling from going down.
Before you can treat the veins, you’ll have to treat the swelling for the ulcers. If you don’t, they’ll literally never heal.
Issue 2: Skin Infections
Along with ulcers, varicose veins can cause infections on and under your skin. Basically, your veins don’t deliver the normal amount of blood to the skin tissues and they can’t defend themselves against outside threats.
If that happens, cellulitis occurs. This is not the same thing as cellulite! Swelling and redness are common with cellulitis infections, as is a warm feeling around the affected area.
Treating this skin infection includes reducing leg swelling, which comes with varicose vein treatment. If you’d like to see the cosmetic look of cellulitis, these are some examples.
Issue 3: Leg Swelling
Almost seventy percent of people with mild to medium varicose veins have some sort of swelling or discomfort in their legs. Imagine it as a constant restless leg syndrome, except moving doesn’t help.
Your legs and leg joints can swell and your skin may even “sweat” a clear or yellow liquid. It’s like a watered down pus substance from the swelling under the skin.
If you have these issues, you can treat the symptoms with compression socks and leg elevation. If you begin to have these issues and suspect varicose veins are at the root (but you haven’t noticed any) call your doctor.
Issue 4: Deep Vein Thrombosis
The worst thing that could happen with varicose veins is deep vein thrombosis. This is basically a blood clot in your legs and is an emergency-room visit waiting to happen.
With DVT, clots form deep down in your leg, in veins you can’t see. It can cause pain, swelling, redness, and any of the other issues listed above.
The biggest risk of DVT is that the blood clot can break off – this sounds like a good thing, but it’s not. If it breaks off there’s a chance it’ll travel to your lungs and cause pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary embolisms are blood clots in your lung circulatory system that block the flow of oxygen. Symptoms include a shortness of breath and chest pain – the symptoms aren’t unlike those of a heart attack.
It’s treatable, but only if you catch it in time. If it’s left to develop or there are other health stabilization issues, the embolism can be fatal.
Issue 5: Bleeding
Think about what varicose veins are – pools or large amounts of blood where there shouldn’t be a collection. Now think what would happen if one of those blood pools should get punctured.
Even if a small cut or scrape happens near or on a varicose vein, you could bleed much more than normal. People with blood loss issues and no access to healthcare can bleed out in these situations.
An Easy Solution
Embolisms, bleeding out, skin infections – all these things don’t sound like complications you need in your life. But there’s good news! Avoiding them is as simple as asking your doctor about varicose vein removal.
They’ll talk you through your options and get it scheduled. With modern technology, there are now minimally invasive procedures. You can be back on your (nonswollen) feet within a week in most cases.
Don’t put yourself at risk for varicose vein complications – get seen today!