Varicose Veins Create Serious Issues for Some Patients | VideoJuli McDonald | 10/29/2010
Inflamed varicose veins can be painful, form leg ulcers and in rare severe cases they can cause dangerous deep vein clots.
John Barnes remembered that his aunts had varicose veins removed because they didn`t like how they looked. He didn`t care what his legs looked like, so he didn`t think his own varicose veins were a big deal.
"I noticed for a couple years my feet would swell up," said Barnes. "I work on my feet all day, and you think oh, you`re on concrete. It`s your shoes. Just deal with it."
Barnes developed a painful blood clot though, and his doctor said his varicose veins should be removed to prevent more dangerous deep vein clots.
"The reason you get varicose veins is reflux. You have valves in your veins. When the valves don`t work they let the blood go back down. It dilates all the other venous segments," explained Dr. Steven Hamar, Mid Dakota Clinic vascular surgeon.
When that blood abnormally collects, it causes the symptoms of varicosities.
"Heavy, tired, aching, burning, throbbing, itching. It`s what causes ulcers eventually. And dermatitis. A lot of people with varicosities get itchy skin. It looks like eczema on their skin, most of the time it`s just from the veins," said Hamar.
Varicose veins can be hereditary, like in Barnes` case, but people who spend long hours on their feet, sitting or traveling, are also prone to the condition.
Hamar said: "There are a lot of people who take pills, pain medication just to get rid of the discomfort in their legs. Life doesn`t have to be like that. You can feel better."
Barnes listened to his doctor`s advice and opted to have two separate surgeries to remove his varicose veins in both legs.