Is It OK to Avoid Treatment for Varicose Veins?
Is it OK to leave varicose veins untreated? Sometimes it is. But many times it isn’t. The only way to determine the answer is to book an appointment with a qualified vein doctor. Varicose veins are often visible. They bulge like colorful, twisted ropes beneath the skin. But the cause of varicose veins is often deeper than the eye can see. Varicose veins typically result from valve failure in a deep vein. When valves don’t seal tightly, blood leaks backward through the vein and accumulates beneath the valve. This elevates pressure in the vein, causing the veins at the surface to bulge, contort, and become varicose.
Without treatment, valve failure produces a condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. If you don’t address that, your varicose vein could worsen, and you could develop painful or even debilitating symptoms. In addition, more spider veins and varicose veins are likely to proliferate until you treat the cause.
What Issues Arise If Patients Delay Treating Varicose Veins?
If you delay treating varicose veins, several complications can arise. These range from unpleasant to life-threatening, so see a vein doctor at the first sign of varicosities to prevent problems.
- Leg pain
- Leg swelling
- Heaviness in the legs
- Restless legs
- Leg cramps
- Interrupted sleep
- Venous Stasis Dermatitis
- Slow-healing venous ulcerations
- Profuse bleeding that’s hard to control
- Blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis
Can Untreated Veins Develop a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
Untreated veins can cause a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They can also result from a DVT. When blood pools in the vein, it increases the likelihood of coagulation. Faulty valves reduce the efficiency of blood flowing back to the heart. If a clot forms in a deep vein, it has the potential to break loose and travel to the lung. If the clot blocks a vital pulmonary artery, that’s called a pulmonary embolism, and it can be fatal.
Visit a board certified vein doctor who can use vein mapping technology to identify clots in deeper veins. The best vein specialists use ultrasound-guided procedures to locate clots, so they can select the optimal method for safe vein treatment. Cosmetic vein centers don’t have this technology, so always choose an accredited vein center in California.
Do Untreated Veins Raise Odds of Developing Varicose Veins?
If you don’t treat varicose veins caused by CVI, you increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins again. A malfunctioning deep vein can create multiple saphenous spider veins and varicose veins. So, treating the origin of one varicose vein can prevent additional ones. Patients who seek cosmetic treatment and develop new veins often think the vein has recurred, when it’s actually a new varicosity that resulted from neglecting the cause. Instead of surface treatments, they need a minimally invasive procedure designed to treat both the visible damage and the source. Our Harvard-trained vein doctors specialize in those procedures.
Does Treatment Avoidance Worsen Venous Diseases?
Since many varicose veins stem from venous diseases like CVI, avoiding varicose vein treatment can cause a worsening of the disease. Symptom progression can be hard to reverse. Hyperpigmentation can become permanent. Venous ulcerations can leave lasting scars. And the more vein damage you accrue, the more treatment sessions are required to resolve it. If you have varicose veins, postponing treatment often means more treatments in the long run. Visit a vein specialist to learn whether you need treatment and to prevent invasive procedures later.
Is a Sedentary Lifestyle Dangerous for Varicose Veins?
Another reason to seek a vein consultation is to determine how your lifestyle affects your varicose veins. Some patients only need to increase their activity level or elevate their legs while resting. But others need to take bigger steps to prevent serious complications. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, which includes jobs that require sitting or standing still, it’s important to ask your vein doctor how to enhance your circulation. Inactivity allows blood to pool in leg veins, and it worsens the problems caused by valve failure. A vein specialist can help you determine how much activity is safe for you, and what would make a difference in your vascular health.
Do Leg Swelling and Pain Warrant Seeing a Vein Specialist?
If you have any vein symptoms, like leg swelling, pain, cramping, heaviness, restlessness, fatigue, or itching, see a vein specialist promptly. These are all indicative of CVI, and the sooner you treat it, the better. But CVI doesn’t always cause symptoms, nor do spider veins and varicose veins. Asymptomatic blood vessels aren’t always healthy. If you have visible vein damage or a family history of varicose veins, spider veins, or CVI, see a vein doctor, even if you have no uncomfortable symptoms.
Do Varicose Veins Need Surgery or Minimally Invasive Care?
Varicose veins rarely require vein surgery in 2023. Most patients are better suited to minimally invasive procedures like sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, mechanochemical ablation, or vein adhesives. Each of these is performed in-office without general anesthesia or hospitalization, so they have an excellent risk profile. Our award-winning California vein centers offer a wide range of treatment options so patients can choose what appeals to them.
How Soon Do Varicose Blood Vessels Vanish Once Treated?
Our patients often complete treatment within their lunch break and go back to the office. Our treatments typically take 15 to 30 minutes. Patients can walk immediately after the procedure, and they don’t need any recovery time. They can resume their usual routine, including moderate exercise, right away. There are no stitches or large bandages, so treatment is discreet and easy to fit into their schedule.
The treatment begins working as soon as it’s administered, and the doctor often observes the vein closure via ultrasound. It takes a few weeks to a few months for the vein to fully fade from sight, depending on its size. Patients will notice it shrinking within the first week. It’s harmlessly absorbed by the body, so it’s no longer part of circulation. Blood is rerouted into healthy adjacent veins that carry it back to the heart. If you’re wondering, “Is it OK to leave varicose veins untreated,” come talk to our caring vein specialists. We never recommend treatments patients don’t need, and we’ll explain each option in detail. We look forward to meeting you!