Symptoms and Complications of Varicose Veins

Visible and unsightly varicose veins
Both men and women are bothered by the appearance of varicose veins. They can affect one's lifestyle and choice of fashions. Left untreated, varicose veins always get progressively worse over time.
Pain, aching, itching, heaviness
Due to the backward flow of venous reflux, many patients have these symptoms. The pain often progresses through the day and is worse in the evening. Symptoms also increase during menstruation. Successful treatment of varicose veins can alleviate these symptoms.
Swelling (edema)
Ankle swelling is very often caused by vein problems, even if there are no visible varicose veins. All patients with unexplained leg swelling (especially if one leg is worse than the other) should have an evaluation of their venous system. Successful treatment of venous reflux caused by varicose veins can relieve the swelling.
Bleeding
Surface varicose veins can occasionally rupture. Although infrequent, these bleeding episodes can be dramatic. This is a clear indication to have treatment in order to avoid repeat episodes of bleeding.

Superficial phlebitis
The spontaneous closure of a varicose vein causes tenderness, redness and firmness in the vein. It takes about two weeks for the tenderness to resolve. It sometimes takes several months for the firmness to go away. Since this problem can recur multiple times, it is important to have treatment to avoid repeat episodes of superficial phlebitis.
Brown discoloration and skin thickening in the lower calf and ankle
Anyone with these symptoms should have an evaluation of their venous system. Usually there is venous reflux present which can be treated. This will help alleviate the discoloration and hardness of the skin, and prevent progression of skin damage which can lead to open venous ulcers.
Venous ulcers
These open sores at the ankle are very painful. They sometimes become infected and can become an urgent medical problem. They are almost always associated with treatable venous reflux. Anyone who has or has had a venous ulcer should have an evaluation of their venous system.