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Varicose Veins

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are veins that become large, twisted, and swollen. They are common on the back of the calves, knees, and thighs. Varicose veins are caused by valves in your veins that do not work properly. This causes blood to collect and increase pressure in the veins of your legs. The increased pressure causes your veins to stretch, get larger, swell, and twist.

Varicose Veins

What increases my risk for varicose veins?

What are the signs and symptoms of varicose veins?

How are varicose veins diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your legs and ask about your medical history. You may need tests, such as a Doppler or duplex ultrasound scan. These scans show your veins and valves, and how your blood is flowing through them. The scans may also show if you have a blockage or blood clot in a vein.

How are varicose veins treated?

The goal of treatment is to decrease symptoms, improve appearance, and prevent further problems. Treatment will depend on which veins are affected and how severe your symptoms are. You may need a procedure to treat or remove your varicose veins. For example, your provider may inject a solution or use a laser to close the varicose veins. Surgery to remove long veins may also be done. Ask your provider for more information about procedures used to treat varicose veins.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage my symptoms?

How can I prevent my varicose veins from getting worse?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.