We hear so many explanations from patients who want to delay vein treatments for spider veins. “It’s just cosmetic.” “They don’t bother me that much.” “I don’t have time.” “I’ve got other problems to deal with first.”
Unfortunately, you may not realize that walking around with untreated spider veins can actually lead to further medical complications. Because vein disease is a progressive condition. So waiting on your treatment can lead to further complications. What could those be? Here are five health issues that may come up if you delay treating your spider or varicose veins.
Complications of Untreated Varicose Veins
One reason varicose veins can be dangerous is that blood builds up inside of them. This blood doesn’t contain oxygen and nutrients. So it can cause cause chronic inflammation, and can change the way your skin looks. In fact, you may notice that your legs are darker or discolored. You could also develop painful swelling. .
Venous ulcers are open sores that can develop when your leg veins aren’t able to properly push blood back up towards your heart. First, the extra blood pools in your veins, causing the noticeable bulges of spider veins. If left untreated, however, the extra blood may leak through the vein, causing an ulcer to form, most frequently in the thin-skinned areas above the ankles. Ulcers are difficult to heal and can open your entire body up to serious infection. If left untreated, ulcers may leave you in need of a limb amputation. In rare cases, ulcers can even prove to be fatal.
When pooled blood is left, untreated, in your veins, the covering skin thins out due to the internal swelling and pressure. The thinner your skin, the less protection there is for your veins. And the more blood that pools in your veins, the larger a target they become for injury. All of this adds up to the fact that untreated varicose veins are at higher risk of being nicked or cut; if and when that does occur, you may stand to lose a significant amount of blood, because so much liquid will have collected in the injured vein.
- Blood Clots
Varicose veins are more likely to become inflamed at the point where you can see them, which is just beneath your skin. This, in turn, can put you at higher risk for blood clots in those surface-level veins.
- Deep vein thrombosis
Unlike surface level blood clots, DVTs occur in the veins that hide deep within your legs. Because they are harder to detect, they are a scarier side effect: DVTs are known to break free, without warning, and travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism), where they become a potentially life-threatening complication.
Answering Questions on Vein Treatments
By now, we hope you’re convinced about seeking help for vein disease. But how can you know if you’re ready for vein treatments? Well, if you have any signs of spider or varicose veins, you qualify for treatment: it doesn’t matter how large or small the problem.
Concerned about insurance covering your vein treatments? Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that fact. But, we can let you know that we accept many different insurance plans, and we’re also happy to help you finance treatment in other ways if your insurance won’t cover the cost of treatment.
And guess what: you have plenty of different treatment options! Depending on the severity of your condition, we may recommend something completely non-invasive, such as compression therapy. In other cases, cosmetic sclerotherapy may correct your concerns, while still other patients may benefit from options such as radiofrequency ablation, perforator ablation or phlebectomy.
We know that you may worry about the discomfort surrounding vein treatments, and that’s a valid worry. Some patients do experience minor discomfort or bruising. Still, these effects are temporary, and less painful than living with progressive vein disease.
After your vein treatments, you can usually resume your regular activity routine. But you will have to follow some post-procedural directives, such as wearing compression socks and avoiding direct sunlight on your treatment areas. While you heal, you’ll start seeing vein treatment results fairly quickly. Most patients notice a cosmetic difference within a few weeks of vein treatments. And symptom relief gets better throughout the entire healing process, which typically takes about three months for full results.
Booking Your Vein Treatments in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Clear Lake and The Woodlands
Clearly, varicose veins are so much more than a cosmetic concern. If left untreated, they can cause you to experience a whole host of serious medical complications. Now that you know the facts, stop the excuses and make an appointment at one of our five Houston-area vein clinics. We’ll being the process of addressing those unsightly veins in your legs. Yes, you’ll feel better about the way you look but, more importantly, you’ll be taking a major step towards protecting your long-term health!
Sources: Journal of Phlebology