Can I Leave Varicose Veins Untreated?

Varicose veins can sometimes be confused with spider veins and may not seem like a serious concern. Although spider veins are a cosmetic concern and don’t always need to be treated, varicose veins do. Without intervention from a vein specialist, Varicose veins can become serious and cause uncomfortable symptoms and greater issues. If you’re on the fence about consulting a vein specialist about varicose veins, then here’s what to know about them and why you should address them soon.

What are Varicose Veins?

Understanding why it’s important to have varicose veins treated begins with understanding what they are. Varicose veins happen when the veins in the legs become inefficient at pumping blood back toward the heart. When the blood can no longer effectively reach the heart, it pools in the veins and causes them to bulge. This causes the legs to feel heavy and swollen. When varicose veins become severe, they can become visibly swollen and distended and can cause great pain.

What are the Risks of Leaving Varicose Veins Untreated?

Because varicose veins are caused by poor blood flow, it can have a number of serious effects on your health.

Extensive Bleeding

Varicose veins exist very close to the surface of the skin. This means that if you cut or scratch yourself near a varicose vein, it can lead to extensive bleeding. Extensive bleeding can also put you at other health risks like anemia or blood clots. Your increased risk for extensive bleeding can remain until varicose veins are treated.

Venous Ulcers

Ulcers are open wounds or cuts that don’t heal. Wounds need blood to heal, and because varicose veins are a result of poor blood flow in the legs, ulcers are more likely to form in the damaged veins or on the skin. These can remain swollen and put you at risk of infection – they can also be very uncomfortable and tender.

Blood Clots and Deep Vein Thrombosis

Blood clots are the most serious side effect of varicose veins. Blood clots can form when your blood doesn’t flow properly. When it pools in the legs, the platelets are more likely to stick together. Blood clots that form in your legs (called deep vein thrombosis) can travel to important areas like your lungs or heart, causing serious and sometimes fatal complications (called a pulmonary embolism).

When Should Varicose Veins be Treated?

Varicose veins should always be assessed promptly by a vein specialist, especially if you experience symptoms like itching, throbbing, cramping, burning, or restlessness. Even if your varicose veins don’t end up needing treatment, it’s always best to consult a vein specialist to ensure you aren’t facing any serious risks.  A vein specialist can also help you learn ways to prevent more varicose veins and ease symptoms. In short, it’s always safest to consult a vein specialist and assess whether you’re at risk of serious complications.

Schedule a Consultation

At Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa, Dr. Manjoney and our team of vein specialists are leading experts on varicose veins in the greater Milwaukee and Waukesha areas. During a consultation, we can help you explore your options and relieve symptoms so you can enjoy a vibrant and healthy lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, contact our Pewaukee, WI office by calling or filling out our online form.

Owner / On-Site Medical Director at Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa | Website

Dr. Deborah Manjoney is a board-certified surgeon and physician with extensive training, including cardiothoracic surgery. She founded the Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa in 2002, where she specializes in vein treatments and minimally invasive aesthetic procedures. Dr. Manjoney is nationally recognized, having spoken at conferences, received awards, and contributed to medical publications.