Peter from New York has asked the question “What happens if all the veins fail in the leg, will you need an amputation? “
Firstly, to put his and everyone’s mind at rest, it is incredibly rare for all the veins to fail in the legs. When we say fail, what we really mean is the valves inside the veins failing. Rarely does this happen and in those cases, patients will know they have a serious problem, because the whole leg is in a terrible state and they would be in no doubt about it. They will always be under a doctor at that stage.
What usually happens is that there are problems with the valves in just one or two of the superficial veins, or maybe there is a problem with the perforator veins. Although that can go on to cause leg ulceration and swelling, it normally isn’t so severe.
Now of course anyone that has got any kind of problem with their veins should see a vein specialist, have a Duplex ultrasound scan and then establish exactly what is going on in the leg and how to fix it.
“I wouldn’t worry about all the valves failing, that is incredibly rare and if such a thing ever did happen you would know about it and you would be under the care of a doctor already” says Professor Whiteley.