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Varicose Veins 101

Last updated 6 years ago

Varicose veins and spider veins are common among men and women alike. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in America suffer from some type of abnormal vein condition. Before discussing your treatment options with your vein specialist, it is important to have a basic understanding of varicose veins.

  • What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins refer to enlarged, bulging veins under the surface of your skin that appear as large, twisted cords. Varicose veins may be blue, red, or flesh-colored and are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, and the inside of the leg. As with spider veins, varicose veins occur when the valves within your veins weaken or become damaged, allowing blood to flow backwards and pool within the vein.

  • What are the Risk Factors for Varicose Veins?

There are many factors that may increase your risk for developing varicose veins, including, but not limited to:

  • Age.
  • Family history of vein problems.
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
  • Taking birth control pills that contain estrogen and progesterone.
  • Obesity.
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Frequent exposure to the sun.

What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

In addition to becoming enlarged or swollen, varicose veins may present other symptoms, such as:

  • Aching pain that worsens after standing or sitting.
  • A feeling of heaviness in the affected limb.
  • Swelling.
  • Throbbing.
  • Skin rash.
  • Restless leg syndrome.
  • Darkening skin.

What Health Complications are Associated with Varicose Veins?

While most individuals with varicose veins do not experience any serious health consequences, varicose veins may lead to certain health complications. These include leg ulcers, bleeding, a blood clot in the vein just below the skin, or a blood clot in a vein deeper within the body.

Don’t let varicose veins interfere with your life. At Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan, we offer a number of varicose vein treatments including VNUS Closure, VenaCure EVLT, ambulatory phlebectomy, Asclera, and sclerotherapy. Contact us at (212) 204-6501 to set up an initial appointment with our certified physicians.


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