Are Untreated Varicose Veins Life-Threatening?

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Varicose veins can form when the valves in the veins that keep blood flowing in the right direction do not work properly. This can cause blood to pool in the veins and make them larger. Before they grow, you may notice more prominent blue or purple veins just under the surface of your skin. As is often the case, varicose veins can begin to cause other symptoms such as pain and swelling. At this point, anyone who has them is driven to find ways to ease the symptoms.

If this sounds like your problem, you may be wondering whether varicose veins can ever be a threat to your life? Read on to find out if varicose veins can be life-threatening.

The Threat of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can cause pain and discomfort, but they are not generally considered to be life-threatening. However, varicose veins carry the risk of complications, which are potentially life-threatening. If left untreated, they can lead to more serious health problems such as blood clots, ulcers, and skin infections.

The presence of varicose veins means there is a circulation problem. The blood pools in the veins because it is unable to flow back to the heart. With time, the pressure in the venous walls increases, causing the veins to grow larger. Since the blood is unable to return to the heart, oxygenated blood can also fail to reach the lower extremities, which can cause problems. Poor circulation combined with pressure building in the venous walls can make even the slightest bump result in a wound. Importantly, wounds can cause venous ulcers to form, which are slow to heal and are vulnerable to becoming infected, which is a serious medical issue. They appear as dark red or purple patches of skin that can have clear or yellow drainage.

Another life-threatening risk associated with severe varicose veins is blood clots. Varicose veins are typically closer to the surface of the skin, but varicose veins in the deeper veins of the legs can lead to blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The danger lies in clots breaking away and traveling to the lungs, which is a life-threatening medical emergency called pulmonary embolism.

If you are concerned about varicose veins being life-threatening, consult a board-certified vein doctor who can evaluate your condition and recommend treatments to reduce your risk of life-threatening complications.

Varicose Vein Treatment in Kansas City & Liberty, MO

Dr. Scott Darling is a triple board-certified vein doctor at Missouri Vein Specialists and can help reduce the risk of serious health issues by treating varicose veins through conservative or highly advanced minimally invasive treatment methods. In our clinic, our patients have access to the latest vein treatments.

Find out what the best vein doctor in KC can do for your varicose vein issue. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 816-792-3400 or use our convenient appointment request form. Our friendly staff looks forward to being your partner in vein and leg health.