19 doctors weighed in:

Are varicose veins deadly?

19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Craig Schwartz
Phlebology
10 doctors agree

In brief: No

In and of themselves, varicose veins are not fatal or deadly.
However, left untreated, the underlying venous insufficiency that causes varicose veins, can lead to long term complications, some of which can be quite severe, including chronic limb swelling, skin thickening/discoloration/ulceration, infections, clots, or even bleeds. Early treatment can easily avoid these end-stage complications.

In brief: No

In and of themselves, varicose veins are not fatal or deadly.
However, left untreated, the underlying venous insufficiency that causes varicose veins, can lead to long term complications, some of which can be quite severe, including chronic limb swelling, skin thickening/discoloration/ulceration, infections, clots, or even bleeds. Early treatment can easily avoid these end-stage complications.
Dr. Craig Schwartz
Dr. Craig Schwartz
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1 comment
Dr. Nick (Donald) Morrison
Yes, long term complications can lead to thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis. Please use medical compression stockings everyday with prolonged sitting, standing, and long airline flights or car rides. Seek treatment with a vein specialist: american college of phlebology ( www.phlebology.org) and (AVF) american venous forum.
Dr. Paul McNeill
Surgery - Vascular
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

Varicose veins alone are not deadly.
However complications of varicose veins can be significant and in rare cases lead to potentially life threatening circumstances. Blood clots and venous stasis ulcerations are rare but real complications of venous disease. Without proper management or treatment, morbidity is a possibility. Early treatment intervention is recommended to avoid complications.

In brief: No

Varicose veins alone are not deadly.
However complications of varicose veins can be significant and in rare cases lead to potentially life threatening circumstances. Blood clots and venous stasis ulcerations are rare but real complications of venous disease. Without proper management or treatment, morbidity is a possibility. Early treatment intervention is recommended to avoid complications.
Dr. Paul McNeill
Dr. Paul McNeill
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not ususally

They are generally only a medical or cosmetic nuisance.
They can be treated easily in this day with either medical or surgical methods. Only superficial phlebitis or a superficial clot that extends into the deep system, i.e a DVT can become a serious or life threatening issue and can sometimes, yet rarely, be the result of superficial venous disease.

In brief: Not ususally

They are generally only a medical or cosmetic nuisance.
They can be treated easily in this day with either medical or surgical methods. Only superficial phlebitis or a superficial clot that extends into the deep system, i.e a DVT can become a serious or life threatening issue and can sometimes, yet rarely, be the result of superficial venous disease.
Dr. Jarrod Kaufman
Dr. Jarrod Kaufman
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Dr. Michael Korona
Radiology - Interventional
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Rare

Few cases of bleeding to death reported. This is very very very rare.

In brief: Rare

Few cases of bleeding to death reported. This is very very very rare.
Dr. Michael Korona
Dr. Michael Korona
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Dr. Norman Chideckel
Surgery - Vascular

In brief: Varicose veins

not deadly

In brief: Varicose veins

not deadly
Dr. Norman Chideckel
Dr. Norman Chideckel
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Dr. Joel Gotvald
Surgery - Vascular

In brief: Usually No

It would be extremely unusual for varicose veins to lead to a lethal complication, although it is potentially possible.
For example, if you formed a blood clot in one of your varicose veins it can spread into a larger deeper vein (DVT) & then the clot could float to the lungs / heart causing a cardiac arrest (pumonary embolism). Also, rarely severe bleeding can occur from varicose veins. But rare

In brief: Usually No

It would be extremely unusual for varicose veins to lead to a lethal complication, although it is potentially possible.
For example, if you formed a blood clot in one of your varicose veins it can spread into a larger deeper vein (DVT) & then the clot could float to the lungs / heart causing a cardiac arrest (pumonary embolism). Also, rarely severe bleeding can occur from varicose veins. But rare
Dr. Joel Gotvald
Dr. Joel Gotvald
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Dr. John Landi
Phlebology

In brief: No, but.

The short answer is no because varicose veins usually are easily seen and many people seek treatment both for symptoms and cosmetic reasons.
However, varicose veins do have the potential to have serious consequences including leg swelling, severe venous stasis leading to chronic venous insufficiency and even leg ulcerations. Potentially deadly issues would be bleeding, clotting and infection.

In brief: No, but.

The short answer is no because varicose veins usually are easily seen and many people seek treatment both for symptoms and cosmetic reasons.
However, varicose veins do have the potential to have serious consequences including leg swelling, severe venous stasis leading to chronic venous insufficiency and even leg ulcerations. Potentially deadly issues would be bleeding, clotting and infection.
Dr. John Landi
Dr. John Landi
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Dr. Ted King
Phlebology

In brief: Die of embarrassment

Fortunately, the worst thing that might ever happen to many varicose veins sufferers is that they don't like the appearance of their legs.
Still symptoms from varicose veins are very real and can affect your ability to get through your normal day without difficulty. Their can be significant complications related to have varicose veins, as the others have said, but they are rare.

In brief: Die of embarrassment

Fortunately, the worst thing that might ever happen to many varicose veins sufferers is that they don't like the appearance of their legs.
Still symptoms from varicose veins are very real and can affect your ability to get through your normal day without difficulty. Their can be significant complications related to have varicose veins, as the others have said, but they are rare.
Dr. Ted King
Dr. Ted King
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