varicose veins in pregnancy
Varicose veins are common in pregnancy.

Varicose veins are not alien features in the human body; in fact, they are more common than we know especially among pregnant women. Varicose veins are veins that are large and swollen and are located around the feet and leg region. They occur as a result of poor functionality of the veins which in turn reduces the effectiveness of blood flow.

The varicose veins are usually a harmless feature experienced during pregnancy. The veins that are affected are the large inferior vena cava that carries blood back to the heart. The varicose veins can be uncomfortable, itchy, painful and unpleasant to the eye. In very severe cases a rupture of the vein may occur or varicose ulcers may develop on the skin. Hemorrhoids are also a type of varicose veins.

To understand the reason why varicose veins occur we must know that a normal healthy leg vein has just a valve that only allows passage of blood back to the heart. When these one-way valves cease to function at par, varicose veins occur. This then causes the blood not returned to the heart to accumulate in the veins and leads to the stretching of the walls of the veins. It also causes the veins to twist and bulge to the extent that they can be seen through the skin.

Varicose veins are common in pregnancy because there is more blood production in the course of pregnancy and this helps your baby grow. In the growth process of your baby, the uterus continues to expand to accommodate the baby and puts pressure on the veins in the leg region. This then leads to the partial blockage of the valve that allows blood to be returned to the heart. It is this accumulated pool of blood that gives you swollen legs and varicose veins.

Varicose veins are not just unsightly blemishes under the skin. That is because not treating varicose veins can lead to a host of serious medical conditions. Most patients with varicose veins. In most cases, patients who report symptoms of itchiness, fatigue, pain and discomfort in the legs, and swelling of the skin will only get worse if the patient chooses to delay seeing a medical professional. In extreme cases, however, there is a potential to develop the life-threatening conditions below.

Hyperpigmentation


The discoloration known as hyperpigmentation results when excess blood leaks into the tissues of the leg. Symptoms include painful swelling and inflammation as parts of their skin become dark.

Lipodermosclerosis

The tissues of the leg can become firm and heavy when they are left inflamed for a long period of time. In these cases, the patient may experience a feeling that their legs are becoming increasingly tender. At that point, it may become difficult to move or relax. This condition of stiffening or hardening of the leg tissues is known as Lipodermosclerosis.

Venous Leg Ulcer


Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is a condition similar to varicose veins that occurs when blood pools in the superficial and deep leg veins.  Over time, CVI can result in the breakdown of areas of the skin to reveal the flesh underneath, signaling the formation of venous leg ulcers. Tending to get larger over time, venous leg ulcers cause pain and discomfort in the legs.

Spontaneous Bleeding


As above, varicose veins can break down the walls of the skin over time, bringing the varicose veins closer to the surface. When this happens, the slightest scratch or scrape can lead to excessive blood loss. Patients may experience significant blood loss if the condition goes untreated, even if they do not experience much pain associated with these minor injuries.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis


The weakening of the veins and decreased blood flow can also cause inflammation of the veins just beneath the surface of the skin. Called Superficial thrombophlebitis, a range of symptoms occur, including redness of the skin, an increasing tenderness of the vein, as well as ongoing pain or swelling of the legs.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis is the by far most serious condition related to untreated varicose veins. Patients with DVT describe a pulling sensation in the legs, stemming from a blood clot, followed by a feeling as if their nerves are being pinched. Increased redness and swelling in the legs continue, as the danger of the blood clot traveling further up the body becomes potentially life-threatening.

As you can see, neglected varicose veins can have major implications for your health. Whether your varicose veins are mild or severe, the sooner you seek treatment, the better. Click here to schedule your free vein screening today!

vein center varicose vein itchWe all know that varicose veins can be painful and unsightly, in addition to causing discomfort and making your legs feel bloated and heavy. But did you also know that they can also make your skin itch? It is true. So what causes the itching, and what can be done about it? Read on to find out the answer.

Histamine Response

Since varicose veins are generally located close to the skin’s surface, your body’s response to them is to produce histamine–the same hormone that is released when the skin has an allergic reaction. You see, these veins have valves that are damaged, which means that they have trouble directing blood back toward the heart. And because these veins are not working the way they are supposed to, your body, by way of your skin, goes into overdrive trying to fix them. Thus, your brain interprets the histamine response as an itch.

The Urge to Scratch

The most common reaction to an itch is of course to scratch. But that can actually make your condition worse, by traumatizing the vein. A vicious cycle then starts, in which the more you scratch, the more damage you do, and the more histamine your body sends to the rescue. You guessed it, more itchiness.

Controling Your Itchy Varicose Veins

So, first off, if you want to control your itchy varicose veins, you have to avoid scratching them. No matter how hard that may seem, that is the simplest way to keep the irritation under control. Beyond that, addressing the underlying problem becomes paramount.

Seeing a Varicose Vein Specialist

A vein specialist diagnoses your condition and gives you strategies that will help with the discomfort. He or she may tell you to exercise, wear compression stockings, and keep your feet elevated while you are resting or lying down. They can also recommend long-term solutions like radio-frequency ablation or sclerotherapy. Call Grand Junction Vein Center right away to set up an appointment and get on the path to vein wellness.

Operation of varicose veins surgery hospital operation medical procedure surgery for leg in emergency room

Varicose veins surgery is among the most commonly performed kinds of surgery. Varicose veins can lead to several skin problems due to lack of circulation, and patients suffering from these effects should consider varicose vein surgery. The surgery is not for everyone, as there are several options for treating varicose veins that are less severe than a surgical procedure.

If the veins are causing health issues that cannot be resolved, however, it is important to talk to your doctor about the option of surgery.

Vein surgery is the only permanent solution to the problem. Because this method removes the engorged blood vessels, it is incredibly effective for patients who desire both medical and cosmetic improvement.

The main procedures to remove varicose veins are:

Vein ligation and stripping

This involves making two incisions (cuts): One at the top of the leg just below the groin, and one behind the knee or at the ankle. The vein is first tied off or clamped where the top incision is made (vein ligation). A long wire is then inserted into the vein via the lower incision and pushed up through the vein. Finally, a button-like cap is attached to the lower end of the wire and the entire vein is pulled out through the incision near the groin.

Another surgical procedure involves making several very small cuts (just a few millimeters wide) are made along the affected vein. A small hook is then used to pull the vein out of these cuts as far as possible. The vein is then cut and removed in several pieces. This technique is mainly used for smaller veins, like those that branch off from larger veins. It is meant to prevent the sort of scarring that can occur when bigger cuts are made during other kinds of procedures.

Surgery can very effectively relieve varicose vein symptoms: In more than 80% of people who have varicose vein surgery, it improves symptoms like pain, swelling and itching or makes them go away completely, and their legs look better afterward.

Both of the above surgical approaches can lead to pain, wound infections, bleeding, swelling, scarring and discoloration of the skin. About 15% of people who have varicose vein surgery experience one of these side effects. Serious complications such as thrombosis or nerve damage are very rare.

New varicose veins can develop after surgery. In studies that looked into this matter, 30 out of 100 people who had surgery had developed new varicose veins after two years.

It is usually possible to leave the hospital on the same day as having varicose vein surgery. But it can take quite a while for the swelling to go down and the wounds to heal. You may have to wait up to three weeks before you can go back to work.

At Grand Junction Vein Center, our specialists use less invasive methods, including Venefit™ and Sclerotherapy to achieve highly desirable and lasting results. Call us today to schedule your free vein screening.

Varicose veins bleeding is one complication that can arise if left untreated for too long.

Undoubtedly, varicose veins can be very painful and most people are embarrassed by their appearance. In addition to pain, other symptoms may include itching, redness, and dryness of the affected areas. Cramps, excessive bleeding, and slow healing are complications of the condition. Yes, you read it right; bleeding is one of the complications of varicose veins. Have you ever wondered why varicose vein bleeds?

Let us dig this little deeper for you and tell you everything about varicose vein bleeding.

Varicose veins are weaker and less efficient than healthy veins. Because they can’t effectively pump blood upwards, blood pools in the leg, placing more pressure on the veins and causing them to become larger and more fragile. As a result, varicose and spider veins are prone to sudden rupture, causing spontaneous bleeding.

Because varicose veins are just below the surface, a slight injury to the skin overlying the vein can cause bleeding as well. Just scratching the legs too hard or brushing up against furniture can be enough to cause a break. This bleeding can occur at any time, but it’s more likely to happen during a warm shower when the veins are more dilated. Patients also report bleeding incidents occurring at night.

What to Expect from a Bleeding Varicose Vein

Because veins contain more blood than capillaries, the varicose vein bleeding isn’t like pricking your finger — the volume can actually be surprisingly high. In fact, patients sometimes think they have ruptured an artery, as the blood may pulsate from the vein.

Varicose vein bleeding is typically sudden, too, catching patients off guard and upending activities. This can be disconcerting, especially if it happens in public.

How to Treat Varicose Vein Bleeding

Typically, minor bleeds can be resolved by applying gentle pressure. If possible, you should sit or lay down so that the leg is higher than the heart. But if the bleeding doesn’t stop or seems severe, you should immediately call or go to the emergency room.

For some patients, varicose vein bleeding can actually become dangerous. Patients on blood thinners and older patients – who have thinner, more delicate skin – are especially susceptible to blood loss. Pregnant women must be especially cautious, as bleeding can quickly lead to serious medical situations.

After receiving medical care, your doctor may recommend you stay off your feet to keep the wound from reopening. Avoid touching or removing the scab, as this can retrigger bleeding.

Treat Your Veins to Prevent Bleeding

The only sure way to avoid spontaneous varicose vein bleeding is to have your veins treated by a professional. Don’t wait until you find yourself in an embarrassing or even dangerous situation.

If you or someone you know has experienced bleeding from a superficial varicose vein, it is important to see a vein specialist.  Prevention is key; through appropriate diagnosis and treatment, sudden bleeding from a bulging varicose or spider vein can be avoided.

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Grand Junction Vein Center

2373 G Road #280
Grand Junction, Colorado. 81505
On the second floor of the Canyonview Medical Plaza
Tel: 970-242-VEIN (8346)