It is true that varicose vein treatment does lower your risk for blood clots in your veins. To be clear, it does not totally eliminate your risk for blood clots in your veins. However, significantly reducing risk is often the best we can expect in medicine. So, just like eating more grains and less sugar decreases your risk of a heart attack, having varicose vein treatment, if you have varicose veins, reduces your risk of developing blood clots in your veins.
What Can a Blood Clot Do To My Health?
Blood clots range in severity. On one end of the spectrum, they can be completely benign. On the other end of the spectrum, they can kill you! Usually though, your risk falls somewhere in between.
There are basically two types of venous blood clots:
1. Superficial Venous Blood Clots
These are blood clots in the veins near the surface of your skin, usually forming in the varicose veins you can actually see. They are far less likely to break off and travel to other parts of the body than deep vein thrombosis (see below), and therefore, they are usually relatively benign. However, a superficial blood clot can cause superficial thrombophlebitis, inflammation in your superficial vein leading to swelling and pain. In more more severe cases, this inflammation can lead to infection in your superficial vein. However, in most cases, superficial blood clots just slow the flow of blood and may cause a bit of swelling,. They usually go away on their own. If they don’t, your doctor at your varicose vein treatment center can give you medication that will help them go away and you’ll be good as new.
2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually buried deep within a large muscle such as your calf muscle. Deep vein thrombosis is considered a much more serious blood clot than a superficial blood clot because of the fact they are much more apt to break away from the vein wall and travel to other parts of the body. If the deep blood clot breaks off and gets lodged in your lungs, this is called an pulmonary embolism (PE) and it’s considered a very serious condition because it can cause sudden death. Please note that while a blood clot in the brain can cause a stroke and a blood clot in the heart can cause a heart attack, these almost always originate from blood clots in arteries, not veins, so varicose vein treatment will not prevent these conditions.
What Type of Varicose Vein Treatment Reduces Blood Clots?
Most common types of varicose vein treatment, such as sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment (ELT), have the same goal. They ablate a vein that is not functioning, or not functioning well, so it no longer causes your blood to pool in your legs and no longer damages your vein valves. These different types of varicose vein treatment just have a different way of accomplishing this.
With sclerotherapy, a chemical is injected into the impaired vein through a tiny needle, causing it to collapse and become sealed off from the rest of your venous system. With ELT, a microlaser is inserted into the impaired vein and laser energy is used to ablate the vein. In both cases, the impaired vein is ablated and disconnected from your venous system which in turn decreases your chance of developing a blood clot.
Having said the above, superficial spider veins and small varicose veins near the surface of the skin may not put you at a higher risk for developing blood clots. However, there’s an important caveat to this statement that you need to understand very carefully. Spider veins and small varicose veins may be a sign of a MUCH bigger problem deeper down! In other words, you may have a “web” of spider veins at the surface of your skin that can indicative of a varicosity in a deep vein. This is not necessarily true but it may be true.
If the above is the case, when you seek treatment for your spider veins or small superficial varicose veins, the doppler ultrasound test they run before the procedure should pick up on the deeper varicose vein. This may result in your doctor advising you to get varicose vein treatment on your deep vein. So, in a way, the treatment you sought for your spider veins, or superficial small varicose veins, may end up decreasing your chance of a blood clot!
Metro Vein Centers Is an Excellent Vein Clinic
If you’re looking to have varicose vein treatment performed, you’ll no doubt want the very best vein doctors you can find running the diagnostic tests on you and advising you on which type of varicose vein treatment would work best for you. You cannot go wrong by choosing Metro Vein Centers which has an excellent reputation. Further, they offer a free evaluation so you can use this to “test the waters” before you make a final decision. To set up an appointment, find out which one of their locations is nearest to you and give them a call.