When a varicose vein bursts open and bleeds!
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen twisting veins overfilled with blood that are caused by damaged valves.
Veins have pairs of leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards (retrograde flow). Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart (the skeletal-muscle pump), against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves do not work (valvular incompetence). This allows blood to flow backwards and they enlarge even more.
Valve failure can result from pregnancy (due to hormonal changes), long standing, direct trauma or from thrombotic valve injury.
Complications include venous ulcers, variceal bleeding, and venous thromboembolism.
There are a few treatment options, non-surgical treatments include sclerotherapy, elastic stockings, leg elevation and exercise. The surgical treatment is vein stripping to remove the affected veins.