So You Have Varicose Veins-Now What? The Emergency Situations
By Dr. Lee G. Schulman M.D.
Dr. Martin L. Schulman M.D.
Schulman Vein And Laser Center
Long Island And NYC
If you have started to notice the protruding of enlarged ropy varicose veins, congratulations, you are not alone. There are literally tens of millions of Americans who have the same condition you have and many tens of millions more who have had successful vein treatments to get rid of the varicose veins.
First know that unless the veins appeared very suddenly they are not an emergency. Conditions that may cause veins to appear ‘out of nowhere’ and be potentially problematic include…
- A spontaneous bleeding episode from leg veins.
- The development of a blood clot causing veins to become enlarged suddenly.
- A trauma to the legs.
Each of these is truly somewhat of an urgent situation. When a bleed occurs it will generally only bleed from one single area within the varicose or spider veins. Unless there is some sort of trauma where there is a lot of insult or injury to the legs its very rare to bleed from more then one location. These are best treated by first staying calm and then applying direct pressure over the bleed to stop it. Tourniquets are not recommended as the pressure from your finger should be enough to halt all leg vein bleeding.
Trauma to the legs can be either penetrating where something has entered the leg or blunt where the skin barrier is not broken. It is generally obvious if you have suffered a trauma to the legs and whether it is blunt to penetrating. The trauma itself will not cause varicose veins to appear but can lead to enlarged veins most commonly by forming a blood clot or thrombus.
The development of clots in leg veins can cause other non-blocked veins to become enlarged and varicose. Sometimes a person can have a clot and not even know it while other times there can be a classic symptoms. The list of typical symptoms includes
- sudden swelling / pain
- redness in the legs
- tenderness throughout the lower legs
- increased warmth in the legs
- enlargement of other veins
In this situation its important not to disregard the signs your body is giving you and see a vein specialist for an evaluation and ultrasound. This can determine if you have a blood clot and if it is severe enough to warrant concern and treatment.
Should you have any of these acute onset of symptoms now please either contact a vein center or go to an emergency room to be evaluated. Its best to be seen and have nothing serious then to be cavalier and find out there is a blockage in the legs.