Varicose vein: 5 signs that should alert according to a vascular surgeon


A varicose vein of the legs is a permanent dilation of a vein of the superficial venous network of the lower limbs. “This vein deforms by becoming tortuous and elongated in an abnormal way”, describes the Health Insurance.

“For most people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern, reports Christopher Huiras, MD, general and vascular surgeon at Mayo Clinic Health System. But for others, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems, such as large ulcers or blood clots which are life threatening”.

The appearance of varicose veins is often due to a defect in the closure of the valves of the vein. These faulty valves let the blood return against the current; this one stagnates then in the veins which dilate. The most common complication of varicose veins is superficial vein thrombosis : a varicose vein closes with an inflammatory reaction.

Venous thrombosis is the most common complication

Certain factors favor the appearance of a chronic venous insufficiency. Women are more at risk. Heredity, exposure to heat and being overweight are also risk factors.

“Varicose veins are more frequent in the event of trampling or prolonged and repeated standing, situations which do not facilitate venous return”, further specifies the Health Insurance.

Varicose veins (or venous insufficiency) can become chronicles. The disease can remain stable for life or gradually worsen or even become more complicated. Venous thrombosis is the most common complication.

More rarely, obstruction by a blood clot of a deep vein or deep phlebitis can occur. In the elderly, one can observe a rupture of varicose vein. It may be responsible for hemorrhage.

Varicose vein: 5 ways to avoid complications

“Exercising, limiting sodium (salt) intake, losing weight and elevating your legs are options to prevent the aggravation of varicose veins, explains Dr. Huiras. Buying compression stockings is often the first approach your doctor will suggest before trying other options.”

The compression stockings can be worn during the day to improve blood circulation in the legs and reduce swelling and pain.

How to recognize a varicose vein? The Medisite editorial staff presents to you in pictures the symptoms described by Dr. Huiras.

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