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What causes varicose veins to bleed?

This question was asked in Orange, California and has 5 answer(s) as of 08/30/2013.
I have varicose veins on my legs and they started bleeding today like they'd burst, even though I didn't fall or have any sort of trauma. Why is that? What is happening to my varicose veins, are they getting worse?


Doctors Answers (5)

Increased venous pressure acts to inflate the varicose vein (like a balloon) which enlarges during the day and causes the walls to become progressively thinner and damaged. Eventually the vein will spontaneously rupture and the bleeding can be profuse for a short period of time until the vein empties and the venous pressure drops. It is similar to a spontaneous nose bleed. The treatment is also similar, apply sufficient pressure directly above the point of rupture to stop or minimize the bleeding and if possible lay down and elevate your leg while applying pressure for at least 10 minutes or longer to allow a small clot to form and seal the vein. This condition will usually reoccur (similar to nose bleeds) so I recommend having a diagnostic venous ultrasound and treatment of the varicose vein to remove the problem varicose veins. As new veins easily grow your entire life (as needed), this will increase the local venous circulation and correct the problem.

Varicose veins are veins in the legs which have been slowly enlarging due mostly to the force of gravity which pushes venous blood in a downward direction. As the veins stretch and the one-way valves in the veins fail, blood runs down with even more pressure into the veins in the lower part of the lower extremity. The high pressure in the veins casues them to stretch even more to the point where the very weak veins with thin walls will rupture as the pressure in the veins exceeds the strength of the vein walls. At this point, the vein ruptures and bleeds. A tiny vein may bleed on a little bit, but some veins may rupture and bleed profusely and cause the patient to pass out from blood loss. If a vein ruptures and bleeds, it is important to lie down and elevate the extremity above the level of the heart while applying pressure over the bleeding spot. This will stop the venous bleeding. Foam sclerotherapy is an excellent technique for preventing the vein from bleeding again.

You could have venous insufficiency, increasing the pressure in the veins, or very superficial dilated veins. Either way you should see a vascular specialist to evaluate. Sometimes it is as easy as just injecting the vein.

Varicose veins have higher blood pressure than normal veins, especially when standing. Your problem is potentially serious and could recur. I strongly suggest you seek advice from a vascular specialist who deals with veins.

Varicose veins by their own nature are abnormal veins, with weak walls. They are prone to rupture when their pressure exceeds a certain level. When they bleed under the skin, the superficial skin color changes and looks bruised. Bleeding varicose veins are an indication to seek treatment with a vein specialist.

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