Varicose Veins and Heart Problem: Can Varicose Veins Cause Heart Diseases

Question: Will varicose veins lead to heart diseases or probelm?
Answer: Varicose veins are tortuous veins mainly seen in lower extremities. They appear as bluish prominent veins in the legs.

Varicose Veins and Heart Problem

  • Varicose veins result due to weak valves of the veins. The main function of these valves is to prevent the backward flow of the blood and to push the blood towards the heart. But as they become weak, some amount of blood remains and this result in tortuous veins due to the pressure on the veins.
  • Varicose vein can be hereditary or acquired: such as in women having multiple pregnancy, pelvic surgery, obstruction of the abdominal vein, hip and knee surgeries, obesity and in people who spend more time standing during work.
  • Thrombophlebitis is a condition, where the veins get inflamed, some time there is formation of clots in the vein, if it is in the superficial veins of the lower legs it can be treated with leg elevation.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis generally does not cause clots that go into the lungs and the heart.
  • If thrombophlebitis occurs in deep veins of the leg especially above the knees and if the clot or the thrombus is large it can create a serious problem. When the large clot breaks of from the vein in the upper thigh or the pelvis, it migrates through the vein and can lodge itself to the right side of the heart and into the pulmonary artery.
  • This is called as pulmonary embolism and it is a serious condition.
  • Pulmonary embolism can occur due to varicose veins, hereditary or acquired blood clotting disorders, cancers etc.

Therefore people suffering from varicose veins and thrombophlebitis are advised to wear tight stockings so that it squeezes the calf and prevent formation of clot in the leg veins.

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