Capitol Vein Blog

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Avoid the Risk of Blood Clots from Varicose Veins

The National Blood Clot Alliance recently posted an article concerning the health risks that occur after a patient develops a deep vein blood clot (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). Those risks, which include progressive leg symptoms and damage, have been well documented over the years, and are commonly known as post-phlebitic syndrome.

Post-phlebitic syndrome typically follows complications from varicose veins, which occur when the normal flow of venous blood in leg reverses and gravity starts exerting undue pressure in the lower leg. Varicose veins, in turn, increase the risk of developing DVT, and they also independently increase the risk of post-phlebitic syndrome.

Symptoms that may alert patients or physicians to the presence of varicose veins include leg heaviness, swelling, aching and even restless leg syndrome (RLS). In advanced cases, we see patients with darkening of the inner ankle, thickening of the skin, and even ulceration.

The key to preventing these irreversible changes is to identify venous reflux (backflow) once it appears, instead of delaying evaluation. As with the post-phlebitic syndrome, the use of medical-grade support hose can be very helpful in mitigating symptoms until treatment can be performed. Ultimately, the Venefit Procedure (VNUS Closure) is the ideal method to eliminate venous reflux and reduce elevated pressure in the leg. The procedure is office based and allows immediate recovery.

The major national vascular societies have adopted the Rethink Varicose Veins campaign to elevate public awareness of the risk in patients with varicose veins. Free consultations and screening exams are available at any of the Capitol Vein and Laser Centers locations in Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia.


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