Veins are the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood to the heart. Generally, they carry deoxygenated blood away from the tissues. There are valves inside of veins that help blood move towards the heart. In varicose veins, the valves do not work correctly, and some of the blood does not leave the veins. The blood builds up inside of the veins and causes the veins to become enlarged.
Some of the conditions that cause varicose veins are pregnancy, congenitally defective valves, and blood clots. Standing for long periods of time can cause an increased risk of developing varicose veins or worsen the condition. Women are more likely to suffer from varicose veins than men.
Treatments for Varicose Veins
Patients who are diagnosed with varicose veins are generally advised to wear support hose, refrain from standing for long periods of time, and to raise their legs when resting. Three of the most commonly used procedures to treat varicose veins are sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, and vein stripping.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting the veins with a special solution that causes the veins to shrink and disappear after a few weeks. The procedure takes only a few minutes to perform. Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laser beam to cauterize varicose veins.