9 Mind-Blowing Facts About Varicose Veins That Will Amaze You

9 Mind-Blowing Facts About Varicose Veins That Will Amaze You

Maybe I’m Amazed …

Baby won’t you help me understand.

This article will help you understand the perplexing subject of varicose veins.

varicose veins questionsEven the most jaded vascular surgeons would have to agree that venous disease is incredible in its endless permutations.

The infinite sizes, shapes, distributions, and underlying pathologies of varicose vein disease are endless.

That demands that exceptionally qualified experienced vein specialists with imagination design an individual treatment plan for your unique problem.

That is the reason that I am passionate about what I do.  Treating abnormal veins never gets boring or repetitious.

With this background in mind, I’d like to discuss why I am amazed about varicose veins.

At the same time, I’ll let you earn an “expert level” badge in varicose vein knowledge.

#1 The great saphenous vein in your legs is the longest vein in your body.

It is associated with varicose veins in approximately 80% of cases.

Therefore, it needs treated in 80% of the patients with varicose veins.

Minimally invasive techniques like laser, radiofrequency, glue, and foam sclerotherapy have replaced the painful stripping operation that was done decades ago.

The importance of the saphenous veins in relation to varicose veins is discussed in this recent article.

The Saphenous Vein and Its Importance in Patients with Varicose Veins

#2 Varicose veins are comprised of branches or tributaries off of the saphenous veins most of the time.

Sometimes, varicose veins arise from other sources like the pelvic veins or perforator veins.

Varicose veins are usually removed through mini incisions made with a needle (phlebectomy) or injected with medicine (sclerotherapy) to get rid of them.

Multiple treatments may be required to get rid of all of your abnormal veins.

#3 Blood is stored in the veins which is known in physiologic terms as a capacitance system.

When extra blood volume occurs (like in pregnancy), the extra blood is stored in the veins.

This is one factor that contributes to varicose veins in pregnancy in addition to hormonal changes.

The veins are the reservoir for the circulatory system.

#4 Varicose veins feel warm to the touch in many people.

warm varicose veins The warmth is the temperature of the blood in these abnormally enlarged vessels.

The rest of the leg feels relatively cooler because the underlying fatty or subcutaneous tissue is cooler to the touch in comparison.

Sometimes, a varicose vein under the surface of the skin will clot.

This is called phlebitis or thrombophlebitis.

This causes the vein to become hot, red, painful, and hard to the touch.

#5 You could die from massive spontaneous bleeding occurring from varicose veins.

In a few cases, people have actually died from the blood loss from their varicose veins.

Usually, these people were elderly and many had coronary artery disease. Most were debilitated.


This video is graphic and is not for people who are afraid of the sight of blood.

See this YouTube video to see how much you can bleed from neglected varicose veins.

#6 Varicose veins are incurable if you live long enough.

help support service sign for varicose veonsThat doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t have your veins treated at all.

Inevitably, they will enlarge and become more symptomatic and often result in complications including bleeding, skin damage and ulceration.

Our advice is to seek guidance and advice from the most experienced and qualified vein expert in your city.

Remember, the more comprehensive the original vein treatment, the longer your varicose veins should stay away and keep from recurring.

Since the cause for varicose veins is genetic, new veins will inevitably occur sooner or later.

The “one and done” hope for varicose vein treatment is rarely the case.

# 7 Men and women develop varicose veins at about the same rate.

man and woman exercisingRecent statistics have verified this unbelievable statistic.

It is commonly believed (and written in the past) that women have an almost double incidence of this problem.

This was parroted and echoed in numerous article which quoted the same old statistics from decades ago.

Here are the latest male vs. female vein statistics challenging the old dogma that women develop varicose veins at a higher rate.

Men often ignore their varicose veins. Therefore, they are unreported.

#8 Walking on concrete and crossing your legs doesn’t cause varicose veins.

walking on concrete These are just another association – not a cause – that gets passed on.

When I tell people this, they don’t believe me because they have heard it all of their lives.

How concrete or walking on hard surfaces can cause veins in your legs to pop out is beyond me as a trained physician.

Varicose veins are caused by bad valves in your veins. These malfunctioning valves make blood back up and go to your feet instead of going back to your heart.

No matter what you walk or stand on or whether you cross your legs or not, the valves in your legs cannot possibly be adversely affected.

#9 You could die from blood clots in varicose veins.

There are case reports of people who had blood clots in their veins (phlebitis) that resulted in death.

Usually in these cases the blood clot progressed from the saphenous vein into the deep veins and broke off resulting in a pulmonary embolism and death.

Blood clots in varicose veins are not a benign condition. They should not be ignored even though they are not usually treated with blood thinners in most cases.

The Takeaways

There are quite a few misconceptions about varicose veins.

There are countless varicose vein myths that are passed on like idle talk or gossip.

To learn the truth, choose the most qualified and experienced vein center in your area.

It’s important to choose your vein specialist carefully so that a customized treatment plan can be designed for the myriad of varicose vein problems.

Since vein problems are rarely cured for life after treatment, it’s important that you choose the doctor with great care before you start your life-long treatment journey.

We’ve debunked some of the most widely believed varicose vein myths about this very common problem in other articles.

vein center accreditationCall us at 724-969-0600 to learn more.

Research our qualifications.

We’re kind of a big deal.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.