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Blood Clots & Varicose Veins - 5X Higher Risk

Superficial Thrombophlebitis and Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots) are another potential complication from varicose veins.

Varicose veins are prone to developing Superficial Thrombophlebitis (SVT) as well as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Superficial Thrombophlebitis is characterized by redness of the skin, tenderness, and pain along the affected superficial vein just below the skin surface.  As opposed to deep veins, blood clots in the superficial veins are less severe and generally do not break off and go to the lungs.

blood clots

Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT on the other hand is a more severe condition.  The vein in the leg still  becomes inflamed and forms a blood clot. However, Deep Vein Thrombosis has the potential to cause a  “pulmonary embolism” – a potentially life threatening condition – if the clot breaks loose and travels to the right side of the heart and eventually migrates to the lungs.

varicose Veins and Blood Clots

dr gupta varicose veins five times higher risk of blood clots

Blood Clots and Varicose Veins

Blood Clots and Varicose Veins


Dr. Gupta Video on YouTube
  • Blood Clots:
    • Embolism: a blood clot that travels fromt he site where it was formed
    • Thrombus: a blood clot that forms in a vessel
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): 5 X higher risk of DVT in people with Varicose Veins
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE): blood clot travels through the heart and blocks a blood vessel in the lung
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): 1.7 X higher risk of Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

A landmark study was published in JAMA, a very reputable medical journal, that demonstrated how people who have varicose veins have a five times (5X) higher risk for clots in the deep veins that can be potentially fatal. Those blood clots can take off and get lost in areas like the lungs and cause conditions like Pulmonary Embolism.

In the intial stages of varicose veins, people may only see some spider veins or ropey veins, and sometimes there are no visible veins. You may have pain, heaviness, tiredness, restless legs, legs cramps, etc. More advanced stages are when you have skin changes, discoloration, bleeding, ulcers that are slow to heal, and clots.