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Why are there bumps in my varicose veins?

I have noticed that one some of my varicose veins, there will be bumps that protrude out of the veins. They do not hurt, but they do make my varicose veins look worse. Would bumps in my varicose veins be an issue and should I get it treated immediately?


Doctors Answers (5)

Those bumps are probably areas where the veins have hardened because they are not working any more. They can lead to worsening pain and eventually non-healing ulcers. You should get them treated.

Varicose veins enlarge or balloon out unevenly and will twist and turn due to being tethered in some areas and free to move in other directions. The result is that varicose veins do not simply get larger, but usually distorted with some areas of the vein closer to the skin and some areas deeper. The most superficial areas may appear as a bump or button that is non-tender and easily compressible. This is common in varicose veins and does not reduce the effectiveness of treatment, but may result in local areas of trapped blood following the treatment which are typically drained on your follow-up exam. For veins very close to the surface that are large and distorted, the choice of treatment may include a micro-phlebectomy to physically remove the most visible segments using a local anesthetic and 1mm punctures next to the vein. The punctures are so small they do not need to be sutured and typically are not visible at a 1 month follow-up.

The "bumps" you are seeing are most likely valves inside the veins. These are normally not protruding but when they fail (as in varicose/chronic venous insufficiency) the veins become dilated and the valves more noticeable. Varicose veins are best treated as they are a sign of underlying problems. However, if asymptomatic (no pain, aching, swelling, heaviness, restlessness/cramping and skin changes) it is a more cosmetic problem. We always recommend a measured/fitted compression stocking to keep the blood from "pooling" in the dilated veins. These are available in many styles and strengths.

I would recommend having an ultrasound to be certain that these "bumps" are not superficial blood clots. Varicose veins often appear bumpy because of the dilation of the vein with increased pressure.

Varicose veins are veins that have lost the elasticity they once had. The "bumps" are not uncommon for these stretched out incompetent veins. I would recommend getting an evaluation and a long term treatment plan in place. Varicose veins progress with time so you do need professional guidance as you continue to mature in life.

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