Are varicose veins a warning sign of potentially deadly blood clots?

Varicose veins, usually caused by pregnancy or the effects of age weakening the blood vessels, are common. They are swollen, twisted veins that can be seen just under the surface of the skin. Weakened valves and veins can increase the blood pressure in a person’s legs, which can cause varicose veins. In the United States, nearly 23% of adults have the condition, which doctors rarely associate with health risks.

Blood Clots

There are two types of blood clots: superficial blood clots, also called phlebitis, and deep clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When a deep clot in the leg travels to the lugs, this is called a pulmonary embolus, which can be fatal. Varicose veins increase the risk for superficial phlebitis.

Symptoms of Blood Clots in the Legs

Symptoms of blood clots in the leg occur because blood clots block the blood flow in the vein in which it forms. Usually blood flows through the veins on its way back to the heart. When you develop a blood clot, the blood can’t get past the clot on it’s way back to the heart and so there is a backlog of blood and congestion in the leg. Symptoms of blood clots include deep leg pain and sudden swelling. If the clot moves to the lungs, chest pain and shortness of breath can develop.

Facts about Blood Clots:

  • Deep vein blood clots can dislodge and travel to the lungs. This is called pulmonary embolism.
  • There are more deaths from pulmonary embolism than breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined.
  • Deep calf or thigh pain and swelling of the leg are signs of deep vein thrombosis.
  • Blood clots also arise in varicose veins. This is called superficial phlebitis.
  • Superficial phlebitis usually feels like a hard, tender lump on your lug.

It’s very important to be aware of symptoms of blood clots in the legs. This way medical attention can be obtained and a diagnosis made. If you think you may have a blood clot, seek immediate medical attention. If you are looking for varicose vein removal options, varicose vein surgery, or are concerned about deep vein thrombosis, contact The Vein Centre today. Our vein specialists know how to create a personalized treatment plan to treat your leg pain and make you feel and look your best.