Varicose Veins
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Varicose and Spider Veins.
  • What is the difference?
  • What Causes varicose veins?



EVLT Vein Treatment Frequently Asked ?'s

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose 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 area.
What are Spider Veins?

Spider 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 appearance.




No one really knows what causes varicose veins and spider veins, but we do know that a 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.

Veins 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 visible (varicose).

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 top.

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.


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