Many people with varicose veins, spider veins or any venous disease often wonder if it’s safe for them to fly or travel especially for long haul flights (over 4 hours). This question is most likely due to knowledge of the risk associated with flying and Deep Vein Thrombosis. It’s important to know the difference between Deep Vein Thrombosis and varicose veins, and understand that the two are in fact separate conditions. That is what we are here for at the Alpha Vein Clinic Las Vegas. We will help you take the precautions you need to travel safely. Yes it is ok to travel however we are here to make sure you do it as safely as possible. It is important to note that Blood Clots don’t create leg ulcers by themselves, they ruin the valve and as a result venous insufficiency happens which if left untreated it may lead to leg ulcers.

What is the difference between DVT and varicose veins?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blood clot forms in the deep leg veins, which results when blood in the deep veins stops moving and coagulates. If the clot remains in the leg it can cause a number of complications, including inflammation (phlebitis). However, the real danger occurs when the clot travels through the bloodstream and into the lungs, where it can get stuck and cause a blockage. This is called a ‘pulmonary embolism’ and is a life-threatening condition. Varicose veins are abnormal or ‘incompetent’ blood vessels that have become engorged and do not function properly due to the backflow and pooling of blood, That occurs in the superficial veins just under the surface of the skin and are often raised above the surrounding skin, usually becoming very visible. While (DVT) and varicose veins are both venous conditions, the two occur separately and therefore shouldn’t be confused. Varicose veins occur in the superficial veins, just under the surface of the skin, whereas blood clots tend to form in the deeper veins.

Tips to reduce the chance of (DVT) when traveling:

In-flight exercises

  • Bend and straighten your legs, feet and toes for 3-4 minutes every half hour
  • Walk up and down the aisles for 3-4 minutes every hour, if it’s safe to do so
  • Massage your calf muscles regularly
  • Wriggle your toes frequently
  • Sleep in short periods – up to 30 minutes at a time

Travel compression stockings:

Here at the Alpha Vein Clinic we may recommend that you wear graduated compression stockings on your flight, to go alongside the above tips. The graduated compression is tighter at the ankle and looser around the calf, which helps promote blood flow back to the heart and maintains circulation. These are usually compression stockings available from pharmacies and medical supply stores. If you already have moderate varicose veins we may prescribe a higher level of compression, or possibly even higher still if you have severe varicose veins or venous ulcers.

If you do have varicose veins it is a great idea to come in and see us at the Las Vegas Alpha Vein Clinic, Because as someone with varicose veins you are at a slightly higher risk of developing (DVT). Even if you’re not planning a long flight, coming to see us is a good idea to prevent your condition from worsening.

In conclusion, the studies done so far do not agree on the odds of developing a travel-related DVT; is it rare or common? Further studies are required to answer this question. The fact remains that the best thing to do is see a vein specialist before you make any travel plans.

So stop staying at home because you don’t have the facts about your vein disease. At the Alpha Vein Clinic Las Vegas we can make your pain and worries a thing of the past. All it takes is one phone call to change the way you live call us at  (702) 430 7661. We are here to make your life easier and take away your vein pain.

Alpha Vein Clinic


3150 N. Tenaya Way Ste. 400

Las Vegas, NV, 89128

(702) 430 7661

Dr. Sassan Kaveh

You Can Now Call Us 24/7