Varicose veins, which primarily form in the veins of the legs, are dilated, swollen, elongated and twisted blood vessels that have filled with an abnormal collection of blood. When someone has varicose veins, their valves do not function properly, allowing blood to stay in the vein, instead of moving toward the heart. Blood that pools causes the blood to swell.
Varicose veins usually affect women. Other risk factors include:
These veins may also form during the last 14 days of the menstrual cycle.
An individual with varicose veins may experience the following symptoms:
The diagnosis of varicose veins is often made based on the appearance of the legs veins when you are standing or sitting with your legs dangling.
Your doctor may order a duplex ultrasound exam of the extremity to see how blood moves through your arteries and veins and to rule out other problems with the legs (a blood clot, for example)
Your doctor will first recommend that you:
In some cases, you may need surgery or other treatment. These cases include: