You may hate the way your varicose veins look on your legs; you must be aware that they could be the harbinger of something far more serious than whether or not you should wear shorts in public.
Troubling varicose veins in the legs could indicate either superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s likely that you don’t notice superficial vein thrombosis in your legs; that’s because the condition usually improves on its own. Monitoring SVT is necessary if your blood clots more than normal.
A serious condition that presents in over half a million people in the U.S. annually, deep vein thrombosis tends to occur in the larger veins of the thighs and legs and requires treatment because of the imminent danger that lurks in your veins.
The thrombosis is a clot of blood cells. If the clot breaks free of the vein, it rides the blood flow in the body. A blood clot lodged in the lung can be life threatening.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Identification
It’s possible that your varicose veins may cause your legs to feel heavy and fatigued, and you may also experience swelling or pain in the region. Your untreated varicose veins may have even developed ulcerations.
If concern about your varicose veins goes beyond their appearance, it’s time to get them checked out by a vascular specialist.
When you meet with your vascular specialist, be prepared to discuss any changes you’ve noticed in skin color, whether the area feels warmer than the rest of your leg or thigh, what tenderness or pain you are experiencing, and if there is any edema or swelling. It’s also possible that you exhibit no symptoms of DVT.
While not every case of varicose veins leads to DVT, deep vein thrombosis treatment is a procedure your vascular physician may want to explore with you.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment
Your vascular physician will design your deep vein thrombosis treatment with two goals in mind:
• to prevent the clot enlarging or breaking free, and
• to lessen the likelihood of another DVT event.
He or she may discuss several deep vein thrombosis treatments with you, including anticoagulants, or blood thinners, that will hinder the formation of new blood clots and keep any existing clots from getting bigger.
If you are unable to take blood thinners, another option for consideration is the insertion of a tiny filter into the vena cava, the large vein in your abdomen. All blood from the legs passes through this vein on the way to the lungs, so the filter blocks clots from upward passage to the pulmonary area.
Compression stockings may be recommended as part of your deep vein thrombosis treatment. Although these stockings are available over the counter, your vascular physician may ask you to wear prescription compression stockings because of their greater constriction properties.
Not all varicose veins carry the threat of DVT. It’s important, however to monitor the appearance and physical condition of your varicose veins so that you don’t develop deep vein thrombosis.
Untreated varicose veins can harbor the threat of DVT, creating a need for one or multiple deep vein thrombosis treatments.