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Can Varicose Veins Be Dangerous?

Do you have noticeable veins on your legs that look twisted and discolored? Varicose veins are a common but treatable condition. While your varicose veins are not life-threatening, they can be symptomatic of an underlying condition called venous insufficiency. Treatment can both relieve your symptoms and correct the root of the problem. 

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins often develop a twisted, raised appearance, appearig blue or purple and affect up to 25% of adults. Healthy leg veins bring blood to the Great Saphenous Vein, which transports it back toward the heart. To work against gravity, the veins in your legs have one-way valves that prevent backflow and keep blood moving smoothly. Blood pools in the veins when these valves weaken, causing them to stretch.

Before & After Photo Gallery

*Individual Results May Vary

Real Patients. Real Results. View before & after images of vein and cosmetic procedures in our photo gallery.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Many factors can contribute to the development of varicose veins. Heredity plays a substantial role, and those with affected family members have a higher risk. Due to hormonal fluctuations, women develop varicose veins much more often than men, and the extra blood flow during pregnancy can also contribute. Age increases the risk of developing varicose veins as the valves in your leg veins weaken over time, and obesity can present challenges for maintaining a healthy venous system, as well.

Can Varicose Veins Be Dangerous?

Varicose veins themselves can cause symptoms, but they are not dangerous. However, they may be symptomatic of something more dangerous, such as venous insufficiency within the deeper veins of your legs. Symptoms of varicose veins can include:

  • Bulging, twisted veins
  • Swelling, particularly around the ankles
  • Leg Heaviness
  • Aching
  • Itching

Any of these symptoms should cause you to consider visiting a vein specialist like Dr. Craig Schwartz. Using Venous Duplex Ultrasound, Dr. Schwartz evaluates the health of your venous system and determines the best method for treating your vein issues. 

If venous insufficiency goes untreated, you may develop more concerning symptoms, including pain, sores, ulcers that will not heal, and a feeling of heat. Clusters of spider veins around the ankles may also suggest a concerning venous issue. 

Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins

Many people refer to varicose veins and spider veins interchangeably. Spider veins have a much smaller diameter than varicose veins and often look like red, purple, or blue webs spreading under the skin. They form in some of the body’s smallest blood vessels and often appear on the legs or face. 

Spider veins are almost always a cosmetic problem, but Dr. Schwartz can treat them if they bother you. Once veins have become stretched, they will not return to normal, so your spider veins will only go away with treatment. Varicose veins should be evaluated and treated even if they are not causing symptoms. 

How are Varicose Veins Treated?

Dr. Schwartz will choose the best method of treatment for your venous issues. He will often use more than one treatment to achieve the desired results. 

Endovenous Laser Ablation

EVLA uses laser energy to seal or “close” the diseased Great Saphenous Vein, treating the root cause of your varicose veins. The 1470nm laser by TVS works using a small needle to insert a thin fiber into the damaged vein. The laser generates thermal energy that seals the vein, and blood will reroute to healthy ones. 

Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy

Dr. Schwartz may use this treatment to address varicose veins under the skin and out of sight. Ultrasound guidance lets him insert a small needle into the problem vein. The injected solution irritates the walls of the vein, “closing” it and stopping blood flow. The body absorbs the unused vein over time. 

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

This treatment can remove superficial bulging varicose veins to improve blood flow and make you happier with the appearance of your legs. Dr. Schwartz uses special tools to “hook” the vein and remove it through tiny incisions. After the removal of diseased veins, blood redirects into healthy ones. 

Consultations Available Now

To learn more, schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at 913-451-8346. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves patients throughout the Kansas City metro.

Can Varicose Veins Come Back After Treatment?

If your doctor treats your condition correctly, your varicose veins should not come back. Reappearing varicose veins can be a sign that the underlying problem has not been treated. A vein specialist like Dr. Schwartz will diagnose and treat your underlying condition to restore healthy blood flow and relieve varicose vein symptoms. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Varicose Vein Treatment?

Almost anyone with varicose veins makes a good candidate for treatment. These safe, minimally invasive treatments can restore healthy circulation in your legs in one or a few short office visits. Vein specialists have experience dealing with even complex venous problems. 

Is There Any Downtime With Varicose Vein Treatment?

You can return to your usual activities after treatment, although you may need to limit strenuous activity for a few days. Depending on the treatment, you may notice minor bruising that fades after a few days. 


*Individual Results May Vary


Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.

Take the Next Step

If you have further questions about varicose veins, call us at (913) 451-8346 or complete our online contact form. We look forward to meeting you and showing you how Kansas City’s premier vein center can help you!

Premier Vein & Body is located in Kansas City, MO and proudly also serves Overland Park, Johnson County, and the entire Kansas City metro area.

** This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

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