Features January 2010 Issue

Varicose Veins Can Be Treated and Deserve Your Attention

Compression stockings can relieve symptoms, while newer minimally invasive treatments can help prevent complications.

As a heart patient, you may look upon varicose veins more as a cosmetic issue or a minor nuisance compared with the seriousness of your cardiovascular disease. But varicose veins, the bulging of veins that occurs when the valves that help move blood along to the heart stop operating efficiently, can lead to physical discomfort and significant health problems. Itís estimated that more than 45 million Americans have vein diseases of the legs. While varicose veins may not cause any symptoms at all, some people with the condition may experience heaviness of the leg, aching discomfort while standing, leg cramps and even itching. As varicose veins progress, the results can be dark pigmentation and eczema of the lower leg. And some patients may develop a painful inflammation of the veins, called superficial thrombophlebitis, says Cleveland Clinic vascular specialist Douglas Joseph, MD, who adds that advanced cases of varicose veins can lead to ulceration and infection of the skin.

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Heart Advisor

Get the next year of HEART ADVISOR for just $20. That's a savings of $19 off the regular rate.

With your paid subscription you will receive unlimited access to all of our online content. That is over a decade of previous issues from Cleveland Clinic, the hospital rated #1 in cardiac care by U.S. News & World Report - free of charge.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.