Capitol Vein Blog

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why Do Patients Develop New Varicose Veins?

One of my Hagerstown, Maryland patients returned with new leg swelling and a rather large bulging calf vein in her right leg. She had undergone successful varicose vein treatment with the Venefit Procedure in her left leg and is quite happy with that result; however, she is concerned with the new right leg veins, which are causing significant swelling and throbbing.

She was wondering why her right leg is now an issue, when last year it appeared totally normal. Her case illustrates that patients with the genetic tendency to form varicose veins may develop new veins in one or both legs. As gravity is always pushing downward, the veins may have a hard time resisting this force, leading to backflow and pooling of venous blood in the lower leg. This, in turn, leads to swelling, aching, heaviness and even restless leg syndrome.

While we do not fully understand the genetic profile of patients with recurrent varicose veins and venous insufficiency, we do know that there is a familial tendency to form these veins. Pregnancy can also play a role, but since 20% of our vein patients are men, hormonal swings are clearly not the sole cause of varicosities.

It’s important to understand is that even with successful vein treatment and a healthy lifestyle, some patients will develop new varicose veins in one or both legs. The treatment did not "fail" and the new veins are not the result of prior vein intervention. The new varicose veins are likely due to genetic influences that cannot be altered. Fortunately, treatment with the Venefit Procedure, phlebectomy, or sclerotherapy is very effective and allows immediate return to normal activity.

For a more thorough evaluation and assessment, please see either Dr. Rosenberg or Dr. McNeill at one of the Capitol Vein & Laser office in Maryland, West Virginia or Virginia.

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