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What can make varicose veins rupture?

I have varicose veins in my legs. They don't really bother me, but my friend told me that they can rupture, which is really bad. What makes varicose veins rupture? What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen to me?

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Doctors Answers (5)

Rupture is not very common. If the varicose veins are on your legs for a long period of time, it can cause your skin to thin, and then trauma to your leg may cause rupture of the vein. It would be best to get these veins treated before it gets that bad.

An enlarging varicose vein can rupture, just as a balloon can rupture, if the wall becomes too thin or if there is some mild abrasion such as scratching an itch over the area. Veins that spontaneously rupture are typically on the lower leg close to the ankle, and it will initially bleed profusely until the local venous pressure drops and the bleeding stops. This is usually painless, but can be very disturbing. The best treatment is to apply external pressure over the rupture and elevate the leg to reduce venous pressure more quickly. When you have had a ruptured varicose vein, it is time to get an ultrasound evaluation of the saphenous leg veins and discuss possible treatments to eliminate the varicose veins. Profuse bleeding is never a good thing to happen, but a ruptured varicose vein can be managed, and treatment will remove the problem.

Spontaneous varicose vein hemorrhage usually occurs due to minor trauma, such as shaving too closely or contusion. Sometimes the heat from bathing can induce bleeding. Emergency treatment requires simple firm pressure, but treatment of the veins themselves will eliminate the problem altogether.

When varicose vein walls and the overlying skin become very thin, they can rupture either spontaneously (in a warm shower, on a plane, in bed) or when bumped or scratched. It is important to remember the veins are a low pressure system, and applying local pressure (not a tourniquet) and elevating the limb above the heart will stop the bleeding. No need for an ER visit. Just keep it up that firm pressure over the immediate area. You can slow the process down by wearing compression hose, but if concerned, you should have an evaluation by an experienced board certified vascular surgeon who specializes in treating vein problems. This will include an ultrasound scan to determine the cause below the varicose veins (typically the saphenous veins). These are now sealed with lasers, and the varicose vein removed through tiny punctures all done in the office, no general anesthesia. Walk in, walk out.

Varicose veins can be treated in the office. Procedures are very effective and prevent potential long term serious issues with your varicose veins. An evaluation and treatment plan is essential. You can find a certified Phlebologist in your area on the web, Phlebology.org.

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