What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged veins resulting from a vein defect, most commonly caused by abnormal blood flow through a deformed venous valve and a thin vein wall. This is due to a weakness in the connective tissue, which means the venous valves no longer function properly.

If left untreated, varicose veins can worsen and lead to open ulcers on the leg or, in rare cases, even life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Therefore, knowing that some types of varicose veins are dangerous and what you can do to prevent varicose veins is essential.

In principle, any type of varicose veins should be treated quickly to avoid chronic and irreversible damage and long-term consequences.


So entstehen Krampfadern

Varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) can develop from several different causes:

  • Increasing age
  • Standing or sitting for a long time at work, also in the home office,
  • Overweight
  • Hormonal changes, e.g., by taking the pill, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Constricting clothing and tight shoes with high heels
  • Smoking and frequent alcohol consumption
  • Lack of exercise

Various factors mean that the venous valves in the veins can no longer close correctly (by the way, the venous valves ensure that your blood always flows toward the heart…).

When the superficial veins expand due to blood congestion and shimmer through the skin, primarily on the calves or inner thighs, these are called varicose veins. The superficial veins run just under the skin and collect blood from the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The deep veins run in the deeper tissue layers of the body, surrounded mainly by muscles. They contain most of the blood in the venous system (around 90 percent) and transport it from the muscles to the heart. Superficial and deep veins are in contact with each other via connecting veins.

Since varicose veins often run in families, the inheritance of venous insufficiency plays a role in the development of varicose veins. In this case, it is usually a congenital weakness of the connective tissue, particularly noticeable in the second half of life and initially as spider veins.

It becomes dangerous when varicose veins are not due to heredity but to a disease, for example, when a blood clot blocks a deep leg vein. Then one speaks of a deep vein thrombosis. Likewise, cardiac insufficiency, in which the blood accumulates in the veins due to reduced heartbeat (right-hand heart failure), can be considered the cause of varicose veins.

Varicose veins are best treated as early as possible.

With us, you only speak to experts from vascular surgery, phlebology, angiology, and lymphology.

How do I recognize varicose veins?

– Have you noticed any changes in skin color on your leg?
– Do your legs feel heavy when you move for a long time?
– Do you have leg pain after walking or standing for a long time?
– Do you often have tired and swollen legs?
– Do you have cramps in your calf or foot at night?
– Do your legs sometimes itch?

Are varicose veins dangerous?

Suppose varicose veins remain untreated for a long time. In that case, the described consequences can worsen since the backlog of blood in the vein places a significant strain on the vessel and continues to increase. In the advanced stage, venous insufficiency can occur, leading to ulcers on the lower leg, “leg ulcers.”

It also increases the risk of blood clots forming in the dilated vein. Such a thrombus can detach entirely or partially from the vein wall and travels with the bloodstream through the heart to the fine vessels of the lungs. A life-threatening vascular occlusion, a so-called pulmonary embolism, can develop there.

Therefore: Please clarify your suspicion of varicose veins early on medically. In most cases, the risk of serious complications can be significantly reduced with appropriate treatment.


How are varicose veins diagnosed?

If you suspect varicose veins, a thorough examination by one of our specialists is necessary. He will first determine what form of varicose veins it is. Current complaints, medical history, and a physical examination focusing on the legs usually provide the doctor with solid indications of varicose veins. In addition, it must be clarified whether deep leg veins are affected or whether there is another condition that can also cause fluid retention in the legs.

Methods of treating varicose veins

We help you to recognize and understand the big picture of your illness.

Knowing the causes of your venous diseases is an essential first step for your recovery. Once we have worked with you to identify these causes, the specialist appropriate to your diagnosis and their team will attend to you and answer your questions, assess your venous disease, and provide you with a unique and comprehensive treatment plan based on your needs. This treatment plan may include the following treatment methods:

This treatment plan may include the following treatment methods:

Varicose veins are best treated as early as possible.

With us, you only speak to experts in vascular surgery, phlebology, angiology, and lymphology.

Can I prevent varicose veins?

Yes, for example, with a healthy lifestyle: Besides a balanced diet, you should drink enough fluids daily and ensure regular exercise. Walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, or gymnastics not only help to lose excess weight but also activate blood circulation and thus the work of the veins.

You should avoid standing and sitting for long periods at work as much as possible. Here it is advisable to take short breaks regularly, do foot exercises, or put your legs up to make it easier for the veins in your legs to return blood. Wear loose clothing, comfortable, flat shoes, and maybe even compression stockings.

In summer, the blood vessels dilate to help the body cool down. However, this increases the back pressure in already weakened veins. To support these veins, you can regularly shower your legs with cool water, so the veins narrow and the blood flows faster.

Thank you for reading through all this difficult but essential information about varicose veins. Nevertheless, we would like to draw your attention to the following:
– if you suspect a minor varicose vein, please see a doctor immediately!
– Please take the preventive measures to heart so that no suspicion arises in the first place and you feel entirely at ease!

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about varicose veins

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Venous disorders always develop based on inherited venous weakness, rarely directly after venous thrombosis. The following factors are usually added as external triggering factors: lack of exercise, being overweight, standing for long periods, sitting for long periods, and smoking.

How dangerous is a varicose vein?

A varicose vein is dangerous when blood clots form in the vein. Such a thrombus can detach entirely or partially from the vein wall and travels with the bloodstream through the heart to the fine vessels of the lungs. A life-threatening vascular occlusion, a so-called pulmonary embolism, can develop there.

What is the cause of varicose veins?

Varicose veins can develop for a number of different reasons, such as increasing age, standing or sitting for long periods at work, due to obesity or hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause, constricting clothing and tight shoes with high heels, smoking, and frequent alcohol consumption, or just a lack of exercise.

What can you do about varicose veins?

A thorough examination by a doctor or specialist is imperative. The doctor will then inform you about further measures.

Which sport is good for varicose veins?

Swimming is definitely recommended, but in addition to that, dancing, walking, and cycling are also great options.

Do varicose veins tend to recur repeatedly?

Tissue ages, and the venous valves become fewer and fewer with age and lose their function. This means that the appearance of varicose veins cannot be ruled out after treatment.

How long is the recovery period after a vein operation before returning to work?

This depends entirely on the method used. After treatment by VenaSeal, you can work again on the following day. After treatment by radiofrequency ablation, you can usually work again after a week. You can usually return to work within 2-3 weeks after undergoing vein stripping.

How long after a vein surgery should one refrain from doing sports?

After treatment with VenaSeal, you can start exercising from the 5th day. The stripping patients can usually only exercise after 4-6 weeks.

Where does the blood flow after the veins are removed?

Unfortunately, the veins removed or switched off during the treatment are defective. They, therefore, have not contributed to the venous return current before treatment.
Its distance, therefore, does not deteriorate venous blood circulation. On the contrary, due to its removal, the blood flow is redirected to other healthy vessels that work normally. This improves the venous backflow and broods down.

If you suspect that you have varicose veins, you should quickly make an appointment. Because varicose veins are best treated as early as possible.

With us, you only speak to experts from vascular surgery, phlebology, angiology, and lymphology.

Feel free to give us a call

We would be delighted to schedule an appointment with you and take the time to have a personal conversation.