Capitol Vein Blog

Friday, February 15, 2013

Varicose Vein Patient Concerned About Bleeding

One of my Winchester, Virginia varicose vein patients asked about the risk of bleeding from the ankle veins. She is a cashier and stands a good part of the day. She has the typical symptoms of aching and heaviness in her calf and ankle, but is concerned that the about other complications due to the surface veins.

Varicose veins occur because the one-way vein valves that propel blood up the leg become dysfunctional. As gravity pushes downward, the veins can't resist and blood runs backward down the leg, leading to increased pressure in the veins. This cause them to enlarge and become bulging at the surface. The Venefit Procedure (VNUS Closure) is the ideal treatment of this condition, as the back pressure in the veins is eliminated.

Bleeding from varicose veins is uncommon, as the vein wall is rather thick and unlikely to rupture. Blood clots in varicose veins are a much more common complication, which is why we encourage patients to seek evaluation early in the development of varicose veins. Bleeding risk is greater with spider veins, which are much more fragile. Minor trauma to spider veins can cause bleeding, which is easily controlled with simple pressure to the site for 10 minutes or so. While the bleeding can look alarming, the risk of losing a significant amount of blood is low. Sclerotherapy is the best treatment for the spider veins, even those that have not bled. Cosmetic results are excellent.

Patients with even small varicose veins can limit the risk of complications and find significant health benefit by having early evaluation and treatment. Varicose veins treatment is almost always an insurance covered benefit, so there is no reason to delay evaluation.  Contact one of our convenient locations in Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia to schedule an evaluation.

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