Are Varicose Veins a Warning Sign of Dangerous Blood Clots?

Those gnarly ugly twisted veins on legs are for sure a cosmetic issue. That’s why so many people wear long pants even during the dog days of summer. Yes, they are ugly, but we don’t usually think of them as a serious health issue. Maybe it’s time to think again. Are varicose veins a warning sign of dangerous blood clots?

Superficial vs Serious Varicose Veins

Nearly 25% of adults have varicose veins mostly in their legs. Most varicose veins affect the superficial veins in the legs. If you have them you probably experience aches and pains, some swelling, and discoloration. Sometimes, you can even develop a clot.Varicose veins.

Since most varicose veins are in superficial (close to the surface) veins, any blood clots form there as well.

Superficial Venous Thrombosis (SVT)

If a blood clot develops, the skin looks red and swollen and there is pain. This is known as superficial venous thrombosis. It is rare.

With superficial venous thrombosis, any minor injury to a varicose vein can cause inflammation. This inflammation leads to a slow down in blood flow and a clot can form. Luckily, superficial veins are not surrounded by muscle, and unless there is a “muscle pump,” the clot usually remains in place.

It may be painful, but it normally dissipates and goes away in a few days. Warm compresses and aspirin help to alleviate the problem. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

A blood clot in a deeper vein is a more serious issue. Although similar to superficial thrombophlebitis, this clot forms in a deeper and larger vein. Those bigger veins hold more blood and connect to other parts of the body. The muscles there can squeeze the blood clot out of the leg and allow it to move it to a more dangerous area. 

If this blood clot makes it into the lungs, it known as a pulmonary embolisma serious life-threatening situation. Immediate medical treatment is needed!

Deep calf or thigh pain plus leg swelling are signs of a DVT or a serious blood clot in the leg.

If you have varicose veins, it would be wise to see Vein Center of Brinton Lake for an assessment and whether you may have varicose veins in deeper veins.

Some Final Thoughts

Research has shown that although having varicose veins does not cause a blood clot, you are more likely to develop DVT if you have varicose veins.

More people die from a pulmonary embolism than from breast cancer, AIDS, and car accidents combined.

Contact Vein Center of Brinton Lake at (610) 579-3516 for an assessment in Glen Mills, PA if you have varicose veins and are having painful symptoms.