Varicose veins

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and sometimes painful veins that have filled with an abnormal collection of blood.


In normal veins, valves in the vein keep blood moving forward toward the heart. With varicose veins, the valves do not function properly, allowing blood to remain in the vein. Pooling of blood in a vein causes it to enlarge.This process usually occurs in the veins of the legs, although it may occur elsewhere. Varicose veins are common, affecting mostly women.Causes include:

Standing for a long time and having increased pressure in the abdomen may make you more likely to develop varicose veins, or may make the condition worse.Primary varicose veins occur because of congenitally defective valves, or without a known cause. Secondary varicose veins occur because of another condition, such as when a pregnant woman develops varicose veins.


Exams and Tests

The diagnosis is mainly based on the appearance of the leg veins when you are standing or seated with the legs dangling.At times a we may order a ultrasound exam of extremity to see blood flow in the veins, and to rule out other disorders of the legs (such as a blood clot). Rarely, an angiography of the legs may be performed to rule out other disorders.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Varicose veins tend to get worse over time. You can ease discomfort and slow varicose vein progression with self care.


Treatment depends on the stage at which the patient presents. You will be asked to avoid excess standing, raise your legs when resting or sleeping, and wear elastic stockings.You may need treatment to improve the appearance of your legs.
Surgery may be recommended, such as:

Vein stripping is usually reserved for patients who are experiencing a lot of pain or who have skin ulcers.

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment if: