Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

How do varicose veins affect the body?

A Answers (3)

  • A Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered on behalf of
    Varicose veins can be a cosmetic problem, but they can also, and often, be a sign of more serious venous problems, including chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). We can define CVI with the help of ultrasound testing. In an upright position, we assess the competency of the valves in the veins. There can be leaking of the valves (blood flows towards the heart but when the valves leak the blood flows away from the heart) for up to 0.5 sec (normal). When the valves leak longer the patient is classified as having venous insufficiency. Symptoms of venous insufficiency include skin discoloration, itchiness, cramping, swelling, achiness, restless legs and pain (most venous pain occurs at rest). Conservative measures and simple office-based procedures can help with the effects of venous abnormalities on the body.

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  • Varicose veins are caused by changes in the circulatory system. Due to changes in blood flow or the elasticity in your veins, blood begins to pool in certain areas rather than being circulated back to the heart. This leads to the blue or purple color of varicose veins. The additional pressure pushes against the vein causing it to grow bigger. In addition to changes in appearance, varicose veins may cause pain.

  • A Interventional Cardiology, answered on behalf of
    Varicose veins signal that the venous system (the system of veins that return blood to the heart) is not working properly. This can lead to ulcers, bulging veins or edema (an often painful swelling of the legs).
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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