Flying With Varicose Veins

To some people, varicose veins are just an eyesore and to others, they can be a hindering health condition.  If you have varicose veins, how do you know if it is safe for you to fly?  


Varicose veins are caused when valves in the legs fail to pump blood back to the heart as they normally should.  The blood then pools in the legs causing unsightly-looking veins, leg aching, heaviness, leg fatigue, muscle cramping, ankle swelling, itching & burning, skin discoloration, and restless legs syndrome.


In most cases, it is not dangerous to fly with varicose veins, but taking the proper precautions to protect yourself from adverse reactions is recommended.  Some precautions to consider while flying include wearing compression stockings, drinking plenty of fluids and stretching legs whenever possible.  

Those who suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis are more at risk. Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs.  Varicose veins are near the surface of the skin, making them more superficial while Deep Vein Thrombosis occurs in veins located deep inside the leg. 

To be clear, surface varicose veins are not likely to present any health risks while flying, but they can be considered a risk factor.  The more risk factors one has, the more likely it is that person may have more serious adverse effects while flying.  

If you suffer from any of the symptoms of varicose veins such as leg aching, heaviness, leg fatigue, muscle cramping, ankle swelling, itching & burning, skin discoloration, and restless legs syndrome, schedule a free screening with Physicians Vein Clinics located in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Sioux Center and Watertown. 


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Dr. Hansen