Do Varicose Veins Cause Blood Clots?

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If you have varicose veins, your doctors may have told you to not worry about them until they cause you a problem. But deep down you may ‘worry’ about your veins impacting your quality of life and ability to perform your daily activities. Or worse yet leading to a medical complication.

You are right to have some concerns. Vein specialists have long suspected varicose veins increase your risk of developing blood clots. Today we will answer your question:

“Do varicose veins cause blood clots?”

…so that you can enjoy life without fear.

tying shoes for a run photo

Do Varicose Veins Increase Your Risk of Blood Clots? Yes.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests what many vein specialists have always thought: having varicose veins increases your risk of developing a blood clot. The findings showed a clear correlation between the two conditions, and the research indicates that anyone who has varicose veins should seek evaluation and treatment from a vein specialist to lower their risks of developing blood clots.

What Else Do We Know For Sure: The Risk Factors for Varicose Veins and Blood Clots Are Similar

Many factors can increase your risk of developing varicose veins and/or blood clots. Included in your risk factor profile are age, family history of venous disease and/or blood clots, pregnancy, sedentary lifestyle, sitting or standing for long periods of time, long-term bed rest, recent injury or surgery, and certain medications.

Some varicose vein patients have blood clots, but not all. And not everyone with a blood clot has varicose veins. In other words, they don’t always occur together, but they often do.

The main message for you is clear if you have varicose veins or suspect you may have them or a blood clot, it is important to get a vein health evaluation and treatment plan.


It’s just 3 easy steps…

Vein Specialists of the South Macon


Vein Specialists of the South Macon


Vein Specialists of the South Macon





Have Varicose Veins, Why Worry About Blood Clots?

Varicose veins are certainly a risk to your overall health and well-being. They tend to get worse over time and can impact your quality of life and ability to do the things you love. Untreated vein disease can lead to missed days at work or family fun and skin ulcers that cost the American healthcare system hundreds of millions of dollars per year. And they are associated with an increased risk of Superficial and Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Thrombosis.

The most common blood clot seen with varicose veins is superficial vein thrombosis (SVT). An SVT is red, painful, tender, and swollen. The natural progression of SVT symptoms gradually worsens over 5-7 days, plateaus for 7-10 days, and then improves over the next several weeks.

Treatment of an SVT is conservative with compression, elevation, and walking along with aspirin or Motrin for pain. If the SVT is large (10 cm or longer) or it extends close to a deep vein, blood thinners are recommended to keep the clot from progressing to a more serious deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

A DVT is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins in your legs. DVTs are treated with compression, elevation, and anticoagulation. Long-term DVT can cause issues with leg pain and swelling in up to 40% of patients.

Not all DVTs break free and travel to the lungs, but the risk is high enough that measures must be taken by a specialist to address a blood clot in the leg before it has the opportunity to travel to the lungs. If the clot breaks free it can travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. PE is a life-threatening condition that kills one American every 5 minutes.

If you have varicose veins or a family history of venous disease or blood clots, it’s wise to schedule an appointment with a vein specialist. At your evaluation treatment plans can be made to improve your vein health while reducing your risks of developing blood clots.

legs on a rock looking at scenery

Take Care of Your Legs

Taking proactive measures to protect the health of your legs is important! This is why we educate about our Better Veins for Life® principles, which help with the prevention and treatment of venous disease.

  1. Elevating your legs can help reduce pressure on your veins and give your tired, worn-out veins an assist from gravity in getting your blood flowing back up to your heart after it has pooled in your legs.
  2. Exercise helps keep the blood flowing smoothly, so walking, cycling, and swimming can be great ways to improve your vein health.
  3. Maintaining a healthy weight, as being overweight or obese adds strain on your veins, affecting healthy circulation.
  4. Wearing compression socks also helps reduce risks associated with varicose veins or blood clots.
  5. Reduce your high-heel footwear use, as these put a strain on your veins and can lead to spider veins and varicose veins.

Proactively caring for your leg health may help you avoid having to worry about these issues later down the road. So make sure to take care of your legs today!

Vein Specialists of the South Macon


*Individual Results May Vary

Vein Specialists of the South Macon

Schedule a Vein Evaluation in Georgia

It’s important to take care of your vein health, particularly if you are aware of risk factors for developing varicose veins and blood clots. Recent studies appear to be linking the two conditions, so it’s worth paying attention. If you have any concerns or would like to know more about your current state of vein health, contact Vein Specialists of the South in Macon, Locust Grove, or Warner Robins, GA. At any of these locations, our experienced staff is able to conduct a thorough vein health evaluation and answer questions.

Short on time? Not sure if you need an evaluation? We have two online options for vein evaluations, which include VirtualVein.com and telehealth appointments. Contact us to find out which one is right for you.

Don’t put off taking care of yourself – Call: 478 743 2472 and book your appointment today!

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Macon: 478-743-2472

Warner Robins: 478-743-2472

Locust Grove: 470-880-8346

Are embarrassing Varicose Veins keeping you from wearing shorts?

  • Understand the underlying cause of varicose veins.
  • Determine if your unsightly varicose veins could be more than a cosmetic concern.
  • Learn what to expect at your vein evaluation.
  • Choose the best treatment options to meet your needs.

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