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Common Complications of Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins,  Common Complications

Most people realize varicose veins are unsightly, but not everyone is aware they can cause serious medical complications if not treated early by a vein specialist. Awareness of potential complications can be the first step in understanding the importance of seeking a vein consultation.  Vein health knowledge helps those affected to appreciate the importance of evaluation and vein treatment.  Eliminating faulty veins can prevent complications and improve overall health.

Most Common Complications

Varicose veins develop when vein valves fail to function properly.  Vein valves are responsible for moving blood upward to the heart/lungs for re-oxygenation.  When these valves become weak or damaged, blood flow slows and even starts to ‘reverse flow’ and begin to pool in the lower legs.  Varicose veins are a symptom of improper venous blood flow and related problems do occur with this ‘reflux’ of blood flow.  Some of the most common complications include:

  • Ulcerations: Ulcers are deeper wounds resulting from an associated refluxing or varicose vein.  Vein Disease can cause skin to become thin and fragile, increasing the incidence of skin ulcers and infections.
  • Eczema: The condition of skin itchiness can occur as a consequence of poor skin circulation related to venous insufficiency (venous reflux) and varicose veins.  This may occur even if there has been no prior eczema elsewhere.
  • Leg cramps and pain: Symptoms associated with varicose veins may be sharp or dull achiness; symptoms usually worsen by day’s end.  Often times, pain is accompanied by ankle swelling and leg fatigue affecting your normal daily activities.
  • Lipodermatosclerosis: As vein disorders advance further more serious skin changes may occur.  Lipodermatosclerosis causes the skin around the varicose veins to thicken, becoming hardened and eventually turn dark brown.  These changes are a result of scar tissue build up.
  • Restless leg syndrome: One of the more annoying complications of venous disorders is this symptom causing an irresistible urge to move the legs.  It very often occurs at rest or while trying to sleep.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis: When blood flow pools in the lower legs, the superficial veins become susceptible to injury and irritation.  This may result in a superficial vein blood clot causing local warmth, tenderness and/or pain  Treatment is important as some blood clots tend to travel, especially if close to the deep venous system where they may migrate and affect larger body organs.

Vein Treatment Can Prevent Complication Occurrence

Minnesota Vein Center in North Oaks has provided vein treatment options for 14 years for patients of the St. Paul/Minneapolis region.  Today, there are more treatment options available.  With the advances in vein medicine and vein treatments/technologies, specific treatment plans and procedure modalities are now available which can be tailored to each patients need.

Prompt vein treatment is the most important measure you can take to prevent varicose vein complications and improve your overall venous circulation.  If you would like more information regarding the vein disorders such as varicose veins and their treatments, call our specialty team at 651-765-8346 at Minnesota Vein Center.