Why Treat Varicose Veins

Large varicose veins can be associated with blood clots and can, in the case of pulmonary embolism, be fatal. Varicose veins are not only terribly unsightly and uncomfortable, but can result in significant pain, cramps, restless legs, swelling and tired/heavy muscles.

Risks of Blood Clots

Blood Clots are more than often likely to occur if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as:

  1. A family history of blood clots or inherited Thrombophilia
  2. Varicose veins
  3. Hypercoagulation [ blood that is defective by clotting easily]
  4. Heavily overweight
  5. Heart failure or chronic lung diseases
  6. Cancer
  7. Hormones – Oestrogen / Progesterone analogues
  8. Sitting for hours on end

After surgery/during long distance travel, reduce the risk of blood clots by:

  1. Treating varicose veins disease
  2. Wear lower leg compression stockings throughout the flight/trip/bed rest
  3. Conduct the leg exercises recommended by the in-flight magazine or cabin staff.
  4. Avoid all alcohol. Drink lots of water and dilute juice with water.
  5. Try to get up and go to the loo every two hours.
  6. Wear loose fitting pants or slacks. Take off your shoes.
  7. Obtain medication from your doctor before you fly to ‘thin’ your blood
  8. Stretch regularly.

Long distance travel is a risk because:

  1. Long periods of inactivity.
  2. Inhibition of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) due to decreased oxygen tension of the cabin being kept at 8000ft altitude. This retains water and causes leg swelling.
  3. Dehydration due to dry cabin air.
  4. Sitting position with tight fitting clothes compressing the venous return blood to the heart.
  5. Sitting position without moving causes blood to pool in the calves. Sluggish blood flow or stasis causes clots.