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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes swollen and lumpy veins on back of arm?

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Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5770 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 in General Health
Question: what is the cause of swollen and lumpy veins (varices)on the back of left upper arm.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later
Hello!

Thank you for the query.

Usually such symptoms do appear when the blood flow from the arm is impeded. This can be caused by veins disease called varicoses, veins thrombosis or due to armpit lymph nodes enlargement what leads to veins blockage.
If your arm is also very painful, thrombosis is most probable. If you can feel any lump in your armpit, lymph nodes are enlarged.
Such enlarged lymph nodes can be caused by breast tumor. That is why it is strongly advisable for you to have it checked. You should have breast examination, breast and armpit ultrasound. If no finding, arm veins Doppler ultrasound should be performed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 15 hours later
no cancer, no lymph nodes. my arm, shoulder and neck hurts. Could portal pressure be involved?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 10 minutes later
Hello!

No, portal vein hypertension gives esophageal varices, abdominal wall varices and gastric varices. Have you had breast and armpit ultrasound? Tumor can not be palpable. Also arm ultrasound should be done to rule out thrombosis (swollen and painful arm can be a symptom of it).
If you have had this diseases ruled out, you should keep looking. The reason can be around the spine or inside the chest(especially if you do smoke). Chest CT and/or spine MRI might be necessary.
Do you have leg varices?

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 28 minutes later
no cancer, no lymph nodes. my left arm, left shoulder and left neck hurts. Could portal pressure be involved?
CT arm inconclusive, no leg varices, Oesoph varices stripped twice, never smoked. Low but not XXXXXXX platelet counts. I will ask for Ul.S in add. Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later
Hello!

Esophageal varices and low platelets can be a sign of liver cirrhosis. You should keep that in mind and have it under control (ultrasound, liver tests).
Such arm varices would be extremely rare symptom of portal vein hypertension and sounds really unlike.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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