Ask the Nurse

I have one very large and bulging vein protruding from the calf of my right leg. In my 30s, I sustained a human bite in that spot, with deep bruising that lasted a long time. What are the risks associated with leaving this vein untreated and what are my treatment options and outcomes of treatment?

Vein disease is a condition that can affect the veins in the legs. It can cause leg pain, varicose veins, swollen legs or open sores. Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins. They can cause leg pain and/or swelling of the legs. Veins in the legs carry blood from the legs back to the heart. Vein disease can occur when there are problems with the one way tiny valves located in the veins which interrupt the flow, resulting in collection of blood in the legs. This may be more pronounced with prolonged standing or sitting.

Treatment is based on symptoms on presentation such as non-healing ulcers or simply for cosmetic reasons. There is a conservative approach versus a medical intervention.

Conservative approaches consist of:

  • Limb elevation
  • Exercise
  • Compression therapy

Medical intervention includes but is not limited to:

  • Chemical, thermal or mechanical ablation
  • Liquid and foam sclerotherapy

Treatment depends on symptoms, patient expectations and the likelihood of benefit in regards to improving symptoms or appearance. The outcomes are therapy and operator dependent. For more information on varicose veins, visit our Speaking of Women’s Health website.

September 18, 2012 at 2:35pm