Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and sometimes painful veins
that have filled with an abnormal collection of blood.
In normal veins, valves in the vein keep blood moving forward
toward the heart. With varicose veins, the valves do not function
properly, allowing blood to remain in the vein. Pooling of blood
in a vein causes it to enlarge.
This process usually occurs in the veins of the legs, although it
may occur elsewhere. Varicose veins are common, affecting mostly
Standing for a long time and having increased pressure in the
abdomen may make you more likely to develop varicose veins, or
may make the condition worse.
Primary varicose veins occur because of congenitally defective
valves, or without a known cause. Secondary varicose veins occur
because of another condition, such as when a pregnant woman
develops varicose veins.
Symptoms of varicose veins may include:
Treatment is usually conservative. You will be asked to avoid
excessive standing, raise your legs when resting or sleeping, and
wear elastic support hose.
You may need treatment to improve the appearance of your legs.
Surgery may be recommended, such as:
- Vein stripping and removal of the varicose vein (ligation)
- Sclerotherapy of veins
Vein stripping is usually reserved for patients who are
experiencing a lot of pain or who have skin ulcers.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart
and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While
various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of
our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology
highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and
vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.