What Problems Do Varicose Veins Cause?

When we are faced with a medical problem or condition, most people are concerned with how does it make me feel, how does it make me look, and what is it likely going to do with me?

The most common symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency(CVI), is aching, heaviness, fatigue, cramping, itching, swelling, and restless leg.  Each of the above can be given an odds ratio, but I have listed them in descending order of frequency.  All can statistically be related to underlying venous disease.

In terms of visible appearance, the most common signs are spider veins and varicose veins.  As the disease progresses, functional problems due to the inefficiency of the venous circulation occur.  This leads to visible skin changes showing brown, inflamed, and scaly areas about the lower legs and ankles.

Untreated, this condition leads to the formation of ulcers in the same areas.

At any time during the course of the disease, patients are at risk for superficial thrombophlebitis, or an inflammation of the superficial veins, that is painful, debilitating, and can be life-threatening.  In the case of more advanced disease, the risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) increases, imparting a greater risk to life and limb.

Most of the factors surrounding the onset and course of CVI, with the exception of age and genetics, are amenable to intervention, and that is what we do at the Morrison Vein Institute.  The effect of this disease on the economy, in terms of time lost from work, and the effect on quality of life is inestimable.

Written by Nick Morrison, MD, FACPh

Posted by Kelly Lorenzen

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