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170 N Henderson Road Suite 302

King Of Prussia, PA 19406

What are the Stages of Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins can start out as visible and discolored, and progress to painful, unsightly bulges and beyond, without minimally invasive varicose vein treatment. With so many quick and nearly painless vein treatments available today, there is no reason to avoid seeing our dedicated vein specialist at your King of Prussia vein clinic. Here we’ll outline some of the more serious vein problems that can result, when varicose veins progress.

How Varicose Veins Begin

Almost no one is immune to varicose veins, because they can be caused by a number of common (often combined) factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy and hormonal changes
  • Standing or sitting for long periods
  • Lack of exercise
  • Tight clothes and/or shoes
  • Malfunctioning valves within veins (blood "backs up" and can cause varicose veins)

Possible Complications of Varicose Veins without Vein Treatment

If you ignore your varicose or diseased veins, you can develop uncomfortable symptoms and may risk severe vein disease, ongoing health problems related to poor circulation, and even sudden death. Some of the worst complications involve impaired blood circulation and blood clot formation. Poor circulation can cause cell death, especially in your extremities. That’s because blocked, diseased veins prevent life-giving blood from reaching the lower legs (and even arms/hands) Poor circulation affects the whole body, because blood carries oxygen and nutrients that must be distributed throughout the body to maintain overall health. Symptoms and complications of progressive vein disease that you may experience, roughly in order of seriousness:


  • Unsightly, discolored veins showing through the skin, spider veins or small varicose veins.


  • Bulging varicose veins.
  • Itching veins.
  • Pain, including aching legs, cramps, burning sensations.
  • Pain that worsens after sitting/standing for long periods.
  • Heavy feeling in the legs.
  • Poor circulation in extremities, numbness, tingling.


  • Lower leg swelling (edema).
  • Bleeding around varicose or diseased veins (thinning skin above the veins).
  • Vein hardening and red discoloration of surrounding skin.
  • Limited mobility and quality of life.


  • Ankle and/or lower leg skin thickening and brownish discoloration, which can be permanent.


  • Healed sores, wounds or skin ulcers near the ankle (that healed slowly).


  • Wounds that will not heal.


  • Wound infection that can spread through the blood.
  • Skin tissue death.
  • Amputation.
  • Low quality of life, which could lead to early death.

DVT — VEIN DISEASE COMPLICATION — that can Occur During any Stage:

DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a blood clot blocking a deep vein in the leg, which can break loose and travel to the lungs. This can lead to pulmonary embolism (blockage of blood flow in lungs) and possible death. DVT may have no symptoms, or may cause a pulling sensation deep within your leg and reddening skin that is hot to the touch. Seek immediate emergency room care for DVT.

Don’t Ignore Varicose Veins 

Dr. Mehul Shah and his team at Vascular Medicine Center in King of Prussia, PA,  are dedicated to improving and maintaining your good quality of life, through vein health. Visit our practice soon for state-of-the-art vein treatments to maintain healthy circulation for life. Contact the Vascular Medicine Center today.