What causes varicose veins?

By Dr. Cohen

You have two types of veins in your legs. There are the deep veins and the superficial veins. The “deep” veins are deep in the muscles of the leg and these carry almost all of the blood from your legs back towards your heart. The superficial veins are smaller and very close to the skin surface and carry very little blood. They are, however, connected to the deep veins at many locations.

In order to move the blood in your leg back up to the heart, against gravity, the veins have many one-way valves. When they’re healthy, these valves allow blood to flow in only one direction which is back up towards the heart.

A condition known as superficial venous insufficiency develops when these valves fail to close tightly. The valve failure allows gravity to pull the blood back down the vein towards the foot. This reverse flow is called “reflux”. The resulting increase in back pressure in these veins can lead to a wide range of problems including bulging varicose veins, leg swelling, skin damage, discomfort and sometimes pain.

Fortunately in most cases, the deep veins are continuing to function normally. In fact when the superficial valves fail, the deep veins now have to work extra hard, essentially doing “double duty.” This is why treatment of superficial venous insufficiency actually reduces the burden on the deep veins, improving blood return efficiency and restoring normal circulation in the leg.

What causes the valve failures? Even today, the exact cause is not known, but there are several risk factors for this condition. They include pregnancies, a family history of venous insufficiency, and occupations and avocations that require prolonged standing. But the good news is, it doesn’t take vascular surgery to solve the problem. It’s now relatively fast and easy for a vein specialist to either close or remove the failing veins, returning your legs to a healthy condition and varicose vein-free appearance.

You can arrange for a quick and easy consultation right now by calling 201-265-5300.

About us: There are 20 million Americans with vein problems that can seriously affect the quality of their lives. And as we age, they just get worse. As one of the few New Jersey medical practices committed exclusively to vein care, Advanced Vascular Vein Care is uniquely capable of alleviating those problems, whether they are medical or cosmetic. All treatments are non-surgical, usually covered by insurance, and delivered in an office setting. And we do it as it should be done – with compassion, excellence, affordability, convenience, and the personal touch. Call 201-265-5300 or visit AdvancedVascular.com for a quick and easy consultation.

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