Dr. Steve Elias - What Are Varicose Veins?

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Varicose veins are the bulging veins that are seen usually in the lower leg sometimes in the thigh that are big and blue. Patients in general can identify these on their own, many times people would confuse varicose veins with spider veins. Spider veins are the tiny red or blue veins that are within the skin, the varicose veins are the larger bulging veins that are below the level of the skin, varicose veins are veins that are not working correctly, normally the veins bring the blood back up the leg in the direction of the heart.

In the veins there are one-way valves like a one-way door, or a check valve that only directs the blood upwards towards the heart, but when veins don't work right, instead of all the blood going up, blood begins to leak back down and put pressure on the veins, the veins get larger and patients get significant symptoms such as aching or throbbing or heaviness, worse usually as the day goes on, because the more they are on their feet, some blood is going up, but some blood is leaking back down, so patients will typically say, I feel great in the morning, but as the day goes on, my leg just feels more achy or tired or heavy.