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Are Varicose Veins a Threat to Your Health?

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, your legs probably ache by the end of the day. But you might also notice some veins that look enlarged. These veins might be slightly painful, or you may not even notice they’re there. 

Either way, varicose veins could pose a threat to your overall health if not treated. 

Our team at the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute helps get you treatment for your varicose veins. Dr. Hesham Fakhri is our lead doctor who specializes in heart and vascular problems. If he thinks your veins need treatment, he gets you the help you need.

What are varicose veins?

You don’t notice the veins in your legs and arms when they’re straight and smooth. But if you suffer from varicose veins, you definitely notice them. Varicose veins look twisted or curvy and are usually enlarged. 

Just about any vein in your body can become a varicose vein, but it’s more common to have them in your legs. Why? If you’re on your feet throughout the day, you put added pressure on these veins. 

Often, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern, meaning they look bad but don’t bother you. Sometimes, though, these veins become painful and cause discomfort. Symptoms that signal a problem with your veins, include:

Another way you can tell if a vein is varicose is by the color. The veins are usually purple or blue and bulge out of your skin more than a regular vein.

Are looks deceiving?

Although varicose veins are an unsightly condition, they’re sometimes completely harmless. If they don’t cause you any discomfort and you’re not showing any other symptoms, the veins are likely just a nuisance. 

Other times, though, these veins could be a sign of a more serious medical condition, particularly if you have pain or swelling in your legs.

One of the biggest dangers related to varicose veins is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is basically a blood clot within one of your veins. If you have DCT, you might notice pain and swelling in your legs. If the clot dislodges, it could travel to your lungs, which may lead to a pulmonary embolism.  

A pulmonary embolism is an emergency and can be life-threatening if you don’t get help immediately. The symptoms of this condition are shortness of breath or chest pain that develops suddenly. 

Varicose veins may also lead to ulcers on your legs around the affected vein, as well as bleeding when the vein becomes so enlarged that it bursts. Although the bleeding isn’t usually severe, you should still seek treatment from Dr. Fakhri.

Treatment for this condition

The treatment that Dr. Fakhri recommends depends on the severity of your varicose veins and if they’re causing you pain or other problems. If your veins aren’t really bothering you and you can live with the way they look, you might not need treatment at all. 

If you’re having pain or other complications like ulcers, Dr. Fakhri addresses the complications first and then takes care of the veins. He offers several different treatments for this condition, which include:

He also may offer compression therapy to reduce the size of the veins and restore circulation to your lower extremities. Compression on your legs also reduces your risk of developing a blood clot. 

Dr. Fahkri can recommend some measures you can take at home to reduce the symptoms of your varicose veins.

Don't continue to live with varicose veins. Contact one of our conveniently located offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, to make an appointment.

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