Vein conditions should always be considered serious. Issues with your veins, are likely linked to poor blood circulation. And could therefore lead to health concerns related to your heart and lungs. So, how serious are varicose veins? Each individual is different however there are a few key symptoms which shouldn’t be ignored. 

There are some people with varicose veins who live with them for many years without experiencing any serious side effects. But not everyone is that lucky. In a large percentage of cases, the side effects caused by varicose veins do get worse without treatment. 

deep vein thrombosis

What can happen when varicose veins remain untreated?

One of the things to remember if you have varicose veins is that they are a circulatory disorder. The tiny valves in your veins that were supposed to keep blood flowing up towards the heart are damaged by a condition called chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. As a result, over time your circulation may become worse and worse, causing changes in the colour and texture of your legs.

Your skin may start to turn brown in colour and become more brittle and fragile, and thus more susceptible to injury. Minor scrapes can turn into open, bleeding sores called venous ulcers that do not respond to topical treatment and refuse to heal. 70% of all venous ulcers are due to varicose veins, caused by a kind of “domino effect.” The varicose veins lead to reflux, which leads to venous hypertension, and impaired microcirculation. This then leads to tissue responses as the skin covering the veins fail to get the oxygen they need, and the result is a bleeding skin ulcer.

Another side effect that can happen is thrombosis

Although there is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship between varicose veins and the development of blood clots (thrombi), the same genetic conditions that increase varicose vein risk are also inherited, and make thrombosis more likely. Blood clots may form in the superficial (close to the surface of the skin) veins, leading to a condition called superficial thrombosis. It first manifests as a red streak along the affected vein, which then often escalates to inflammation (phlebitis), which leaves the veins feeling warm, tender, and swollen. This condition is typically more annoying than dangerous, because there is little danger that the clots will break up and travel elsewhere in the body.

A related and far more dangerous condition  is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If DVT occurs, blood clots begin to form in the deeper, larger veins further below the surface. If these blood clots break loose they can travel to the lungs (where they can cause a pulmonary embolism) or to the brain (where they can cause a stroke). Both conditions can be life-threatening.

For non-surgical options for the prevention of DVT, consider a device such as OnPulse by Geko. It is a wearable device which compresses the venous system to stimulate blood in deep calf veins. Additionally, medical-grade compression garments have been proven to increase blood circulation and protect against vein disease. Both knee-high and thigh-high stockings are available at The Vein Institute Shop

All of this is unnecessary because varicose veins can be eliminated

The damage caused by CVI can’t be repaired because once the venous valves have been damaged, they can’t be fixed. But the diseased veins can easily be removed by using minimally invasive vein treatment techniques which can be completed in about an hour in the comfort of our clinics. Once the veins that have been damaged by CVI have been closed by these procedures, the side effects and other symptoms will significantly reduce as well.

Seek expert advice

The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive treatment program to treat varicose veins, with non-surgical laser treatment techniques. The benefits of laser treatment to patients are;

  • Walk-in walk-out treatment
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
  • No general anaesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 1300 535 017. Or, complete the form below to receive a call back from one of The Vein Institute team.