What are Varicose Veins?
veins are abnormally enlarged veins usually found on the legs. Due to
malfunction, these veins no longer carry blood back to the heart. People
with varicose veins may experience pain, swelling, leg cramps, itching or
burning, and cramping at night. People with advanced stages may develop
phlebitis, dermatitis, severe inflammation or open sores in the affected
What are Spider Veins?
veins are dilated capillary veins, and are medically referred to as
telangiectasias. They exist just below the surface of the skin on the legs or
face. Spider veins are blue, red, or purplish in color with a web-like or linear
No one really knows what causes varicose veins and spider veins, but we do know
combination of factors increase the likelihood of leg vein problems. The most
important contributing factor in the development of varicose veins and spider
veins is heredity, which means that you were born with a genetic predisposition
to develop leg vein problems.
carry blood from the tissues back eventually to the heart. They are thin walled
tubes which get squeezed by the surrounding muscles as they contract. This
squeezing forces blood along the veins and a series of non-return valves ensure
the flow is only in
one direction. If these valves become faulty and fail to close the flood can run
backwards (or reflux) and pool in the legs. Where this extra blood is sitting in
veins close to the surface of the skin, the veins will swell up and become
There is one major vein (the greater saphenous vein), which connects to many of
the surface superficial veins. Failure of the valves in this vein is quite
common and is therefore a major cause of vein reflux disease. This vein runs
down from the groin to the lower leg and the faulty valves are often up near the
Vein disease in the lower thigh, around the knee and in the calf are often
caused by venous reflux much higher up.
|Are there any new treatment
options to treat varicose veins?
|Our doctors at the Virginia Vascular
Center were some of the first physicians in Virginia and the D.C.-
Baltimore metropolitan area to offer EndoVenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
for varicose veins.