Your Varicose Veins May be More Than Just a Cosmetic Concern

To determine whether your varicose veins are a medical concern, contact the experts at NJ Cardiovascular.

Varicose veins are a common issue affecting approximately half of men and women by the time they reach 50. It’s easy to identify these twisted, enlarged veins on your legs because they usually bulge and appear blue or dark purple in color.

Varicose veins usually aren't cause for concern, aside from their unsightly appearance. At times, however, they indicate a more serious vein disorder that can increase your chances of serious health complications.

As an experienced cardiologist and varicose vein specialist at NJ Cardiovascular Institute, Dr. Kunal Patel brings his specialized training to diagnosing and treating varicose veins and other venous diseases in Secaucus and Newark, New Jersey. 

Understanding venous diseases

You have two types of blood vessels circulating blood throughout your body: arteries and veins. 

Arteries send oxygen-rich blood out from your heart to the rest of your body. Your blood returns to your heart by way of your veins. These thin-walled structures contain one-way valves that keep your blood moving in one direction.

Venous diseases develop when vein issues interfere with the blood flowing back to your heart. These problems can affect either superficial veins found close to the surface of your skin or the  deep veins located in the muscles of your arms or legs. 

Varicose veins are a type of vein disease affecting your superficial veins.

Varicose veins

Varicose vein disorder develops when your one-way valves weaken or fail, which allows blood to flow backward or pool in the vein. When this occurs, you can see the swollen vein underneath your skin. Your chances of having varicose veins increase as you grow older, if you’re overweight or obese, or spend long periods of time sitting or standing. You also have a 90% chance of getting varicose veins if both of your parents have the condition.

When you have varicose veins, they can also be a sign of chronic venous insufficiency — when blood pools in either superficial or deep leg veins. It’s possible to have chronic venous insufficiency without having a varicose vein.

Symptoms associated with chronic venous insufficiency include:

Chronic venous insufficiency is a chronic condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. More serious venous diseases associated with varicose veins include superficial thrombophlebitis and deep-vein thrombosis. 

Superficial thrombophlebitis 

Thrombophlebitis is a venous condition that develops when your vein grows inflamed, especially because of a blood clot-reducing blood flow. 

Signs of superficial thrombophlebitis typically include:

These symptoms can also increase your risk of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT).

Deep-vein thrombosis

Thrombosis develops when a blood clot forms in your veins. This venous disease occurs when your blood doesn’t circulate or clot properly. 

Common causes of thrombosis include:

DVT is especially serious because blood clots in your veins can break off and travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, which blocks blood flow and can cause death.

Signs of deep-vein thrombosis include pain, cramping, or soreness in your leg; red or discolored skin; and a warm sensation. You can also have DVT without any obvious symptoms.

To see if you’re varicose veins indicate a more serious venous condition, call us at NJ Cardiovascular Institute or schedule an appointment online today.

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