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What Happens to Varicose Veins When on Warfarin?

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The appearance of spider veins and varicose veins on the legs is a cosmetic problem for most patients, but it can also be a symptom of more serious vein disease for others. Varicose veins increase the patient’s risk of developing blood clots, so some healthcare providers prescribe warfarin to improve blood flow and prevent blood clotting.

But what exactly happens to varicose veins when varicose veins and lower the risk of superficial phlebitis as well as other venous conditions. However, warfarin and other blood thinners won’t relieve varicose vein symptoms or make them disappear for good.

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Can Warfarin Eliminate Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are a common complaint for about 20% of adults. These pesky veins appear when there’s a faulty valve inside the blood vessel, causing the blood to pool inside the superficial vein. The blood collects inside the large vein until it bulges just underneath the skin. Some patients experience little to no symptoms, while others experience heaviness and leg pain after standing for long periods when they have varicose veins.

Although they’re only a cosmetic problem for some patients, they still put patients at risk of developing a superficial blood clot that may progress into more serious vein problems like deep vein thrombosis, superficial thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, post-thrombotic syndrome, chronic venous insufficiency, among others.

To prevent blood clotting and vein diseases, a healthcare provider or vein specialist may suggest taking a blood thinner like warfarin to improve blood circulation. But before taking this blood thinning medication, here’s everything you need to know about it first:

Why Doctors Prescribe Warfarin for Varicose Veins

Warfarin is an anticoagulant medication that vein specialists may recommend to improve blood flow and prevent blood clotting. Even if the patient doesn’t have venous disease, doctors may still recommend taking warfarin if they think the patient is at risk of developing blood clots.

Warfarin keeps the blood fluid to reduce its tendency to become gel-like and form a deep vein or superficial clot. It’s also especially effective in dissolving blood clots when taken with compression stockings for better blood flow.

But since the varicose vein is a venous condition, it’s not something that can be treated with medications alone. A varicose vein is caused by a problem in the blood vessel itself but not the quality of the blood that flows through it. Warfarin only treats the blood, but not the valves of the affected vein – meaning it won’t do much when it comes to reducing the appearance of the bulging superficial vein.

Possible Risks of Taking Warfarin

Warfarin is a powerful medication that can save the lives of people by preventing the development of blood clots. However, the same mechanism that inhibits blood clotting may also cause bleeding in patients who take warfarin. 

Before taking this medication, make sure to take note of the following side effects:

  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bleeding in between menstrual periods
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Stomach pain

To avoid warfarin side effects, it’s crucial to only take the right dosage for varicose veins as directed by the healthcare provider. Regular blood tests might be necessary to monitor blood levels and ensure that the anticoagulant dosage is correct.

Can You Undergo Vein Surgery While Taking Warfarin?

If they want to get rid of their visible leg vein, patients who take warfarin are advised to skip vascular surgery and find another alternative because the medication puts them at a high risk of excessive bleeding. The vascular surgeon might recommend halting the medication for some time and conducting a blood test before the vein surgery to ensure that the patient’s blood pressure, composition, and circulation are normal.

But the good news is that they can treat their varicose veins with endovenous ablation even if they’re also taking warfarin. Endovenous laser therapy only requires a tiny incision, so there’s less risk of excessive bleeding for patients taking warfarin. Studies also showed that taking warfarin contributed to the success of EVLA when it comes to treating the great saphenous vein.

Other Varicose Vein Removal Treatments to Try at Vein Center Doctor

Warfarin and other blood thinning medications help improve the circulation inside the blood vessel, but they won’t get rid of the bulging veins. These varicose veins are a result of vein structure problems and not blood composition issues, so they require treatments that target the vein itself.

If you want to get rid of varicose veins and relieve some of their symptoms, our vein specialist at Vein Center Doctor may recommend these treatment options for you:

  • Radiofrequency ablation – This laser treatment for varicose veins uses radiofrequency technology to repair varicose veins and trigger the body’s healing process. 
  • Compression therapy – This traditional treatment utilizes compression stockings or socks to reduce fatigue, swelling, achiness, and itchiness by improving the overall blood flow in the legs.
  • VenaSeal – This minimally invasive treatment uses a medical adhesive to close the affected vein, causing the blood to flow into healthier veins nearby. The damaged vein eventually fades and the symptoms subside.
  • Sclerotherapy – This common vein treatment involves injecting a salt solution into the damaged blood vessel, causing it to close and be reabsorbed by the body.

Treat Your Vein-Related Issues Safely at Vein Center Doctor

Blood thinners like warfarin are helpful in reducing the risk of blood clots, but they’re not exactly the solution to eliminating the appearance of pesky varicose veins on the legs. You might want to get some advice from a certified vein specialist if you’re concerned about erasing varicose veins safely while ensuring that they don’t develop into serious vein conditions.

At Vein Center Doctor, we ensure our patient’s safety at all times so we always make sure to discuss their previous medications, treatments, and health history before recommending a vein treatment option. Call us today to consult some of the best vein specialists in the area.

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Find exactly what you need to get rid of your vein-related problems. Dr. Sood and the rest of our team at Vein Center Doctor are ready to help: schedule your free consultation today.

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