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Surgical Associates
of Dallas
Main Office
621 N. Hall Street
Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75226
Phone: 214.821.9600
Fax: 214.821.9325

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varicose veins dallas  
Varicose Veins

What are Varicose Veins?

"Varicose" 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.

There 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 the skin

The two largest surface veins are called the saphenous veins (saphenous is Greek meaning "visible").

The long saphenous vein, also called the "greater saphenous" vein runs along the inner thigh and leg from the groin to the ankle.

The short saphenous vein, also called the "lesser saphenous" vein on the back of the calf drains the calf and foot.


To understand what causes varicose veins, it helps to know how healthy veins in the leg work.

  • Veins return blood that has been used from the legs to the heart.
  • When you walk, the leg muscles squeeze the deep veins, forcing the blood back up towards the heart.
  • One way valves inside the veins keep the blood flowing towards the heart and prevent the flow of blood back towards the feet.
  • The superficial veins drain used blood from the skin and feet through connecting veins called perforator veins to the deep veins.

Varicose 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 form.


  • 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 seep backwards.


  • 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.
  • Swollen ankles
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 helpful
    3. If standing for long periods of time, flexing and stretching the calf muscles should be done as much as possible
    4. At the end of the day, elevating the legs can reduce swelling
    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 done cosmetically
  • Surgery-Duplex ultrasound must be performed prior to surgery diagnosing the severity and location of nonfunctioning veins. Ways to perform surgery can include:
    1. Vein excision-the removal of varicose vein
    2. Vein stripping-removal of the damaged superficial vein
    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 basis.
Website Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is presented for your general knowledge only and should not be deemed a substitute for professional advice or treatment for a specific medical condition(s) by a physician or healthcare professional.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) / Peripheral Venous Disease (PVD)
Endovascular Therapy
Carotid Artery Disease
Varicose Veins
Vascular Diagnostics
Our Team of Physicians:
Jay Vasquez Jr., M.D.
Hung B. Chu, M.D.
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