While many still perceive varicose veins as nothing more than a superficial malady, this unsightly condition may be accompanied by more serious medical ramifications. Take the onset of vein thrombosis for example (SVT and DVT). Affecting more than 2 million Americans per year, the formation of thrombosis can result from a failure to address and treat symptomatic varicose veins.
Superficial vein thrombosis occurs in the more superficial veins. This can occur in the extremities, abdominal wall and the breast. SVT does cause pain and discomfort; but is usually not life threatening. Deep venous thrombosis, is essentially a blood clot occurring in the deep veins-most common in the pelvis and lower extremities. Due to the location and size of the thrombus, a DVT clot can potentially break loose and travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism. Suspicion of DVT requires immediate medical attention. In fact, each year, an estimated 200,00 people die from pulmonary embolism PE as a result of the detached blood clot DVT blocking blood flow to the lungs as a PE.
Symptoms and Treatment
When the presence of varicose veins are accompanied by symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness or a sensation of warmth in the lower extremities, it is possible DVT is present. The best way to evaluate and diagnose SVT and DVT is by ultrasound examination. Deep vein thrombosis can only be detected through a physical exam involving focus venous ultrasound examination by a physician skilled in treating venous disease. Treatment of SVT is usually local care with moist heat along with Aspirin, NSAID medications, like Motrin. Treatment of DVT typically includes prescribing blood thinning agents such as Coumadin. In more serious but rare cases, however, hospitalization with surgical intervention by vena cava filter placement may be necessary.
To prevent the formation of deep vein thrombosis, there are certain precautions patients can take. If you have varicose veins, it is crucial to consult with a physician who specializes in vein disease. Other proactive measures include wearing medical grade compression stockings, staying physically active and maintaining adequate hydration.
Certain factors can contribute to the risk of developing DVT. To name a few, varicose veins, surgery [especially orthopedic surgery of the lower extremities], prolonged bed rest, and injury can all increase the likelihood of SVT and DVT. Some patients may have family genetic tendencies for thrombosis; coagulopathy.
Don’t let untreated varicose veins progress into a life-threatening condition. With today’s advancing technology, patients with vein disease have a plethora of options. Minimally invasive vein treatments like Radiofrequency vein closure and endovenous laser ablation have almost eliminated the need for more invasive procedures such as painful vein striping surgery. Even better, these procedure are covered by most major insurance providers. We offer the latest techniques in varicose vein treatment at our AAAHC certified surgery suites in Chattanooga, TN.
Call 423-648-4012 to request a FREE vein screening!