are Varicose Veins?
means "dilated and twisted" and that is what
varicose veins look like. They are distended and filled
with blood that is not flowing through the vein as it
should. The swollen, twisted looking vein can be seen
on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins do not happen
overnight and they are inherited.
are two sets of veins in the leg:
A) Deep set- located within the muscles of the
calf and thigh
B) Superficial set- located on the surface beneath
two largest surface veins are called the saphenous
veins (saphenous is Greek meaning "visible").
long saphenous vein, also called the "greater
saphenous" vein runs along the inner thigh
and leg from the groin to the ankle.
short saphenous vein, also called the "lesser
saphenous" vein on the back of the calf drains
the calf and foot.
CAUSES VARICOSE VEINS?
To understand what causes varicose veins, it helps to
know how healthy veins in the leg work.
return blood that has been used from the legs to the
you walk, the leg muscles squeeze the deep veins,
forcing the blood back up towards the heart.
way valves inside the veins keep the blood flowing
towards the heart and prevent the flow of blood back
towards the feet.
superficial veins drain used blood from the skin and
feet through connecting veins called perforator veins
to the deep veins.
veins occur because the valves between the deep and
superficial veins of the leg no longer work properly.
When valves fail, blood will flow the wrong direction.
Instead of draining the superficial veins, the deep
veins will pump blood into them. Pressure then increases
in the superficial veins causing them to swell. Over
a period of time, often years, of increased pressure
and swelling in the superficial veins, varicose veins
CAUSES VALVES TO FAIL?
Valve defect: A blood clot may damage the valve causing
scarring leaving the valve defective.
Inherited: Varicose veins usually run in the family.
Either the valves are not properly formed, or there
may be too few of them.
Too much pressure on the vein itself can cause the
wall to bulge. The gap may be too large for the valve
to close off the vein completely allowing blood to
ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
For most people, varicose veins are unsightly.
They usually start with heavy, tired and achy leg
muscles at the end of the day, or after standing for
a long time.
Soreness over the varicose vein area
Scaly and itchy skin because of less than efficient
circulation of the blood.
Brownish gray color to the skin around the ankles.
OF VARICOSE VEINS
Phlebitis-occurs when stagnant blood in the veins
form clots and cause inflammation. The skin over the
clot can be hot, red, swollen and tender.
Bleeding-occurs when thin walled veins close to the
skin surface are cut or broken
Leg Ulcers-one of the most severe complications
Spider Veins-are small clusters of dilated veins that
appear on the legs. These are usually treated cosmetically.
OF VARICOSE VEINS
Changes to daily routine and lifestyle
1. Avoid wearing tight clothing or shoes
2. If sitting for long periods, get up and walk around.
Wiggling feet and toes along with stretching is also
3. If standing for long periods of time, flexing and
stretching the calf muscles should be done as much
4. At the end of the day, elevating the legs can reduce
5. Elevating the foot of the bed a couple of inches
Compression hose-act to perform the same function
as leg muscles by squeezing the veins to force the
blood up towards the heart
Injection Treatment-usually for spider veins and is
Surgery-Duplex ultrasound must be performed prior
to surgery diagnosing the severity and location of
nonfunctioning veins. Ways to perform surgery can
1. Vein excision-the removal of varicose vein
2. Vein stripping-removal of the damaged superficial
3. Radiofrequency ablation-heating of the vein wall
by radiofrequency energy causing the vein to shrink
and close. This procedure is done on an outpatient