The Factor V Leiden mutation is one of the most common inherited genetic mutations, causing blood clotting disorders. It is found in 4% to 6% of the U.S. population.
If someone has one copy of this genetic mutation (heterozygous), they are considered a carrier of the mutation. A carrier has an approximate 3 to 6 fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism. If a person carries two copies of the genetic mutation (homozygous) their risk of a blood clot is much higher, and many of these patients will be on lifelong blood thinners. This risk is increased when exposed to other risk factors such as pregnancy, oral contraceptives, immobility, and surgery. If you are Factor V Leiden, the doctor may recommend a blood thinner during varicose vein treatment. It is important to talk with your doctor about your history or family history of blood clotting disorders, to better reduce your risk of a blood clot when undergoing any type of procedure or surgery.