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The Consequences of Untreated Varicose Veins: Venous Ulcerations

The Consequences of Untreated Varicose Veins: Venous Ulcerations

Posted on June 29, 2015 by Dr. Stephen Rivard


Varicose veins are a common problem for both men and women in the U.S. Many people show signs of bulging veins and spider veins, and suffer from symptoms of heaviness, minor leg pain, swelling, and even itching. However, some of the consequences of leaving your vein disease untreated can be serious. Here’s why.

Varicose veins are the result of venous insufficiency which creates pressure in the veins.  This pressure causes the veins to expand and the valves to break. When this happens the blood in the veins cannot flow back towards the heart - i.e. the veins valves cannot pump the blood - and the blood begins to pool with gravity lower and lower.  Eventually, the poor circulation and pooling of blood cuts off the oxygen to these lower regions - your legs and ankles - and you start to notice that your skin becomes hardened and discolored.

Imagine squeezing the tip of your finger until it turns purple. Well, this is essentially the same idea - you are not only cutting off blood flow, your are cutting off oxygen to that area of your finger.  Without proper oxygenation the skin in that area will begin to die.  If you leave your veins untreated for a long enough period, this will happen in your ankles. Your skin will start to turn brown in color signifying that the skin is dying.

The next stage leave you at open wounds. The problem is that pressure doesn’t stop building and gravity keeps forcing the blood down. Once the skin becomes hard enough and the pressure becomes too great, the skin will actually break open and lead to ulcerations.  Venous ulcerations are in no way to be taken lightly. If the source of the wounds are not treated - by treating your underlying varicose vein disease - you could suffer for the rest of your life with open ulcerations.

Although many people feel that this will not happen until very late in life, we commonly see many patients who have suffered for decades and are still in their 40’s and 50’s.  Venous ulcerations are extremely painful, unsightly and can significantly impact your overall wellbeing, especially if you are regularly active.  The great news is that there is no need to take it this far, treatments for varicose veins these days are extremely effective and covered by insurance. Don’t suffer needlessly, if you notice the symptoms seek relief immediately.

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Our Philosophy. Find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.

At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us.  That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today.  We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor (formerly known as Phlebologist).

Tagged venous insufficiency, Venous Leg Ulcers, Venous ulcerations