Varicose Vein Risk Factors

Varicose veins can be a source of embarrassment for patients who have noticed progressive changes in their legs and thighs.  More so, varicose veins can be associated with a medical condition in which the circulatory system becomes progressively unhealthy and dysfunctional.  The truth is, that many problems with associated with varicose veins are caused by family history and genetics.  In other words there are some aspects of varicose veins that are beyond reasonable control.  Family history, activity level, occupation, number of pregnancies, and strenuous activity can all influence the rate of development for varicose veins.  Medically related varicose veins can present a significant health problem for patients and the office of Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian at the Santa Monica Vein Center can help you find reliable and definitive solutions for your vein problems. 

Venous insufficiency and venous reflux can influence the development of varicose veins and can lead to several symptoms that can affect your quality of life.  If you have questions about varicose veins and are unsure about the long term outcome if varicose veins are left untreated, call the Santa Monica Vein Center today to schedule a comprehensive consultation and evaluation for your bulging varicose veins.

Symptoms associated with venous reflux vary from simple spider veins to more complex venous ulcers.  The following is the list of problems that are associated with venous reflux and chronic venous insufficiency.
Spider veins
Although spider veins are characteristically thought of as a cosmetic concern, some studies have shown that spider veins are an early warning sign for deeper rooted venous insufficiency.  Spider veins may present as peripheral branches associated with deeper deep veins that are unhealthy and associated with venous reflux.  During your consultation, Dr. Karamanoukian may recommend a venous ultrasound in order to gage the function of your veins and to evaluate the overall level of venous function.  If it is deemed that you have spider veins without venous reflux, cosmetic spider vein treatment such as laser therapy or sclerotherapy are indicated.  Spider veins in the presence of venous reflux may necessitate a more definitive treatment such as endovenous laser ablation, EVLT, endovenous radiofreqency ablation, VNUS, Venefit, ClariVein, or vein surgery.
Bulging varicose veins
Bulging varicose veins are often associated with venous insufficiency and venous reflux.  The severity of the venous reflux and the degree of venous hypertension can all influence the rate of progression among bulging varicose veins.  Varicose veins can cause symptoms such as pain, discomfort, tenderness, thrombophlebitis, and cramping.  Varicose veins are generally larger than spider veins and reticular veins and can be associated with an unsightly appearance below the surface of the skin.  The main treatment of varicose veins and bulging veins includes, micro vein surgery, endovenous ablation, laser ablation, and microphlebectomy. 
Leg swelling
Leg swelling can be caused by a number of different problems, including varicose veins, vein disease, and venous insufficiency.
Unilateral leg swelling is often associated with vein problems whereas bilateral leg edema can result from a number of different medical problems.  It is thought that endovenous laser ablation can treat venous insufficiency and may lead to overall improvement in leg swelling and leg edema.  Pulling in the veins may increase the likelihood of poor venous and lymphatic return, leading to high venous pressure and leg edema.
Skin discoloration
Skin discoloration may be one of the earliest warning sign for a deeper rooted condition known as venous insufficiency.  Skin discoloration is often associated with venous hypertension and hemosiderin deposits within the skin.  This may or may not be associated with inflammation, and a chronic inflammatory state.  Skin changes may often lead to skin ulceration and chronic open wounds.  The most likely area for skin discoloration is along the distal one third of the leg, especially around the ankle and calf areas.  Treatment of skin discoloration and skin hyperpigmentation may take long periods of time and may be associated with long term clinical sequelae.  If you have skin discoloration and are concerned that this may be resulting from stasis dermatitis or lipodermatosclerosis. 
Venous ulcers
Venous ulcers may be one of the most severe problems associated with venous insufficiency and venous hypertension.  Chronic ulcers along the medial aspect of the legs can be difficult to treat and are associated with other skin and bone complications of the lower legs.  Chronic wounds may lead to chronic infection or chronic skin changes that are often irreversible.  Damaged or diseased perforating veins can often be associated with venous ulcers and venous ulcers can often be treated with strategic treatment of venous perforators or the root cause of venous insufficiency.  Endovenous laser ablation may also help in the treatment of advanced venous statis ulcers in the medial lower leg. 

Risk Factors for DVT, Blood Clots, and Venous Thromboembolism 

There are many conditions that may increase the risk of a blood clot, DVT, or venous thromboembolism.  If you are concerned about your individual risk of blood clots given the presence of varicose veins in your legs, schedule an appointment to discuss your options with board certified vein surgeon Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian. The following risk factors are known to increase the chance of developing a blood clot: Surgery, immobility, decreased ambulation, trauma, cancer, history of previous blood clots, coagulopathy, pregnancy, estrogen in hormone replacement or birth control pills, smoking, heart disease, obesity, varicose vein disease, indwelling catheters or PICC lines, inherited or acquired blood disorders.

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