Are Varicose Veins a Health Threat?

Are Varicose Veins a Health Threat?

Varicose veins are usually a cosmetic concern that’s not considered dangerous to your overall health. Sometimes, though, these bulging discolored veins can cause swelling and aching discomfort, and multiple veins may signal an underlying problem with your circulatory health.

Dr. Farouk Marzouk here at Frontier Medical Care in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York, explains the causes of varicose veins and the symptoms they may cause.

What causes varicose veins?

Veins are the vessels that carry blood from your body to the heart for recirculation. One-way valves within some of these veins, especially those in your arms and legs, open and close regularly to help move blood along through the vessel.

When the vein walls weaken or valves within them malfunction, blood pools in the affected vessel and causes the bulging that’s common with varicose veins. Veins near the surface often become visibly discolored and enlarged, but a varicose vein can also develop at a deeper level that’s only viewable via imaging studies such as ultrasound.

Varicose veins can occur anywhere in the body, but most are in the legs where blood must fight against gravity as it works its way upward toward the heart. This puts added strain on leg veins and makes them more vulnerable to damage.

Who gets varicose veins?

The Society for Vascular Surgery estimates that varicose veins affect about 35% of people in the United States. Anyone can develop varicose veins, but they are more common in women than men.

Other factors that increase your risk for varicose veins include:

Heart failure, liver disease, and other conditions that cause edema (swelling) and pressure in your abdomen can also lead to varicose veins.

What health conditions do varicose veins cause?

While many of these distorted veins are not symptomatic, you may develop:

Note that symptoms can vary in intensity and may worsen after prolonged standing, sitting, or walking.

Other health complications associated with varicose veins include:

Dr. Marzouk starts your varicose vein treatment at Frontier Medical Care with a thorough exam and careful review of your medical history. He may also order further diagnostic studies such as painless ultrasound imaging to further evaluate your vein health.

He then develops an individualized treatment strategy that effectively addresses your cosmetic concerns as well as the health implications of varicose veins and their smaller cousins (spider veins). Most of the advanced therapies Dr. Marzouk offers are done here in our office for your convenience, are minimally invasive, and are essentially pain-free.

To schedule your evaluation with Dr. Marzouk at Frontier Medical Care, call our office or use online booking right now.

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