Most varicose veins are reasonably benign, but severe varicosities can lead to major complications, due to the poor circulation through the affected limb.
- Pain, tenderness, heaviness, inability to walk or stand for long hours, thus hindering work.
- Skin conditions / Dermatitis which could predispose skin loss
- Skin ulcers especially near the ankle, usually referred to as venous ulcers.
- Development of carcinoma or sarcoma in longstanding venous ulcers. Over 100 reported cases of malignant transformation have been reported at a rate reported as 0.4% to 1%.
- Severe bleeding from minor trauma, of particular concern in the elderly.
- Blood clotting within affected veins, termed superficial thrombophlebitis. These are frequently isolated to the superficial veins, but can extend into deep veins, becoming a more serious problem.
- Acute fat necrosis can occur, especially at the ankle of overweight patients with varicose veins. Females are more frequently affected than males.