Varicose/Spider Veins

Since you’re here, you’ve probably begun to notice the distinctive blue lines on your legs that indicate the presence of varicose veins or spider veins, the milder and far more common form of varicose veins. A varicose vein has become enlarged and twisted and can cause some discomfort and lead to more problems than just unsightly legs. Two risk factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins and spider veins are:

  • Age: Your veins and muscles have to work together against gravity to circulate blood upward toward the heart. As you age, weakened vein valves can allow deoxygenated blood to pool in the veins of the legs, causing them to become enlarged and appear blue.
  • Genetics: A strong family history of lower extremity swelling and varicose veins
    is a strong predictor of development of vein problems.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, blood circulation between the legs and the pelvis changes to accommodate the development of the fetus. These changes in circulation, and the increased pressure placed on the legs due to pregnancy weight gain, can lead to varicose or spider veins.

Do Varicose Veins Pose Any Health Risks?

For the most part, the only risk posed by varicose veins and spider veins is cosmetic. The presence of bulgy blue veins can give your legs an unattractive, “road map” appearance. However, varicose veins can cause discomfort, swelling of the extremities, restless legs, skin changes and leg cramps in some sufferers and, in rare cases, can lead to:

  • Ulcers: As fluid builds up at the vein site and pressure builds up within the vein itself, a discolored patch that indicates the presence of an ulcer can erupt. Ulcers of this variety are extremely painful and should be treated as soon as possible.
  • Blood clots: On rare occasions, a vein deep within the leg can become varicose and indicate a dangerous blood clot. This condition will cause an obvious swelling of the leg and requires immediate medical attention.

How Can My Heart and Vascular Specialist Treat Varicose Veins?

The physicians at Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana have extensive experience identifying and successfully treating both varicose veins, spider veins, and more complex venous disease. At your appointment, your physician will perform a visual examination and ask you questions such as when you first noticed the veins and whether you experience any discomfort associated with the veins. Our physicians have several treatment options for improving the appearance and alleviating the problems associated with varicose and spider veins.

Talk to Your Acadiana Cardiologists About Your Heart Health

To schedule an appointment with Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana, please contact our office at (377) 534-4356. Our four offices proudly serve patients in the Lafayette community as well as the entire Acadiana region.