What are “Varicose Veins”?

Varicose veins are the largest of the abnormal veins. They are greater than 2mm in diameter, and appear as blue-green bulges which may be noticeable upon standing. If they are flat they may be referred to as reticular veins.

What symptoms are caused by varicose veins?

Varicose veins can cause burning, itching, aching, swelling, and changes in the general health of your skin. The latter can be recognized by a darkening of the skin color, the appearance of multiple blue dots, areas in which your skin peels or bleeds easily, and the formation of sores or ulcers. When this occurs, it is called “chronic venous insufficiency”.

What causes “chronic venous insufficiency”?

Chronic venous insufficiency can be caused by varicose veins, or by problems with veins deeper in the leg. Any changes this severe should be evaluated by a vascular surgeon.

Can varicose veins cause problems?

Varicose veins can cause chronic venous insufficiency as mentioned above. They can be painful causing your legs to swell and feel fatigued, They can also bleed and contribute to blood clots.

What is the treatment for varicose veins?

Veins of this magnitude require evaluation by someone experienced in vascular hemodynamics as the work up should include a detailed venous doppler examination (a painless test similar to an ultrasound). This will allow determination of the cause of the varicose veins, which is critical to ensuring that proper treatment is undertaken. Depending on the size and cause of the varicose veins, as determined by doppler, some varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy and the remainder by an outpatient surgical procedure.