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What might cause my varicose veins to burst and pressure in my legs?

This question was asked in Beverly Hills, California and has 3 answer(s) as of 06/25/2014.
For four days I have a build-up of pressure in my calves on both legs. A lot of my varicose veins have burst and the pressure is still there. I keep my feet elevated when I am lying down, but the minute I get up, there is a rush of pressure and non-stop pain again. What might cause my varicose veins to burst and pressure in my legs?


Doctors Answers (3)

I would suggest a duplex ultrasound evaluation of the venous circulation in your legs. Varicose veins can become enlarged or distended with thinning of the vein wall and overlaying skin until a spontaneously rupture and bleeding varicose vein. This is usually around the ankle region, often painless, and starts initially with vigorous bleeding that decompresses the vein and stops after a few minutes. Treatment of varicose veins will help prevent the progression of the problem. Enlargement of varicose veins from the calves may indicate problems with the small saphenous veins (SSV) and possible perforating veins that shunt high pressure venous blood from deep veins in the muscles up to the low pressure surface veins. Elevating the legs would be only a short term solution; wearing compression hose is more helpful, and definitive evaluation and treatment is recommended.

I am not sure what you mean by "burst". Do the veins actually bleed or is it a sensation? You should see an experienced vascular trained surgeon who specializes in varicose vein treatments. An ultrasound examination will, firstly ensure there are no clots and secondly determine the cause of the varicose veins. Most commonly there is underlying saphenous reflux which is caused by an inherited failure of the valves which normally keep the blood returning to the heart for oxygenation. When this is present, there is a back flow of blood and varicose veins can occur similar to a "pressure relief valve." Your best option at present is to be measured and fitted into a good quality compression hose of at least 20-30 mmHg pressure and most likely thigh length. This will keep the varicose veins shut down and alleviate this pressure and sensation. They are best applied as early in the a.m. as possible. If diagnosed with venous reflux, the treatment is endovenous laser ablation of the the underlying saphenous vein (most commonly the long saphenous, but can also be the short) with microphlebectomy of the bulging veins.

The most likely problem is failure of many of the one-way valves in the veins of the legs. When the legs are lower than the heart, blood will flow down with gravity if there are many failed valves in the leg veins. Blood under pressure stretches the veins and weak sections of vein wall can rupture resulting in bleeding under the skin.

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