Varicose Veins

What are veins?

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the body back to the heart. Arteries carry blood from the heart to the body.
Veins have a series of one-way valves that keep the blood flowing towards the heart.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged and tortuous veins often visible just beneath the skin. These occur when the valves in the veins become inefficient allowing blood to flow backwards. Varicose veins are commonly seen in the superficial veins of the legs.

veins-legs

veins-diagram

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Enlarged tortuous veins
  • Aching of the affected area, especially after sitting or standing for lengthy periods
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Itching around the affected veins
  • Eczema
  • Leg ulcers
  • Leg cramps at rest

What causes varicose veins?

A number of factors contribute to the development of varicose veins.

  • Family history
  • Hormonal factors
  • Excess weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Circulatory problems
  • Previous DVT

Why should I get my veins treated?

Varicose veins can increase your risk of developing blood clots and could lead to skin changes and ulceration.