Varicose veins and the risk of blood clots

Last updated on June 1, 2023

Varicose veins are a common condition that affect millions of people worldwide. They occur when the veins in your legs become twisted, enlarged, and swollen. Varicose veins are not only unsightly, but they can also be a risk factor for blood clots, a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications.

In this blog, we will discuss varicose veins and the risk they pose for blood clots, including their causes, common symptoms, and treatment options.

Understanding varicose veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that usually occur in the legs and feet. They develop when the valves in the veins that are responsible for preventing blood from flowing backward become weak or damaged, causing blood to pool in the veins.

Varicose veins can be unsightly and uncomfortable, but for the most part, they are not harmful. In some rarer cases, they can also lead to serious health problems such as blood clots.

Does varicose veins cause blood clots?

It is common to develop varicose veins as you age, but it is important to take note of when to seek medical help if they become severe.

The Link Between Varicose Veins and Blood Clots

Varicose veins increase the risk of developing blood clots because they cause the blood to flow more slowly, increasing the likelihood of clot formation. Blood clots can be dangerous, as they can travel to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems such as pulmonary embolism or stroke.

Identifying the Risk Factors for Blood Clots

There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing blood clots in varicose veins. These include a family history of blood clots, obesity, pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and certain medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or autoimmune disorders.

Preventing blood clots in varicose veins

There are several ways to prevent blood clots from forming in varicose veins. These include staying active and exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing, wearing compression stockings, and elevating the legs when resting.
Does varicose veins cause blood clots?
Certain lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight and staying active, can go a long way toward helping prevent varicose veins and blood clots.

Treating varicose veins

Treatment options for varicose veins include lifestyle changes such as exercise and weight loss, wearing compression stockings, and medical procedures such as sclerotherapy or endovenous ablation. These treatments can help reduce the appearance of varicose veins and improve blood flow, lowering the risk of blood clots.

Managing blood clots in varicose veins

If a blood clot does develop in a varicose vein, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Treatment options may include blood-thinning medications, compression stockings, or surgical intervention to remove the clot.

Living with varicose veins and blood clots

While varicose veins and blood clots can be concerning, there are steps you can take to manage the condition and prevent further complications. This may include making lifestyle changes, taking medications as prescribed, and following up regularly with your healthcare provider. It’s also important to stay informed about the latest treatment options and to seek medical attention promptly if you experience any new symptoms or changes in your condition.

Varicose veins are a common condition but can be serious and potentially life-threatening. By understanding the link between varicose veins and blood clots and taking steps to prevent and manage this condition, you can reduce your risk and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

If you have varicose veins or are at risk for blood clots, get in touch with us to learn more about your options for prevention and treatment.

Contact us today to book your consultation, where we can provide information on your conditions and recommend safe treatment options.

We can provide a quotation on treatments, details on health insurance coverage, and if you qualify for a Medicare rebate.


If you still have more questions on β€˜Can varicose veins cause blood clots?” please read our most frequently asked questions:
Developing varicose veins is common, and they can increase the risk of developing a blood clot, but it is difficult to determine how often they cause a blood clot. Factors such as age, gender, and the severity of the varicose veins all play a role in the likelihood of a blood clot forming. People with varicose veins should discuss their individual risks with their healthcare provider.
Symptoms of varicose veins include leg pain, itching, burning sensation, heaviness, leg swelling, cramping, or throbbing in the affected area. If you have any of these symptoms and have evidence of venous reflux or varicose veins, it is best to consult a doctor to determine if further treatment is necessary.
No, blood clots in varicose veins don’t go away on their own. Depending on how severe the varicose veins are, they may need to be treated with medication or varicose vein surgery. It’s important to consult a doctor if you think you have a blood clot in your varicose veins, as they can be dangerous if left untreated.
Yes, it is important to worry about a superficial blood clot. Superficial clots can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as deep vein thrombosis. If left untreated, a clot can lead to life-threatening complications. If you experience any symptoms of a superficial blood clot, such as swelling, pain, or redness, it is important to seek medical care.
This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.

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