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Varicose Veins: More Than a Cosmetic Problem?

Bulging, twisted varicose veins can make you self-conscious about baring your legs, limiting your fashion choices. But without treatment, varicose veins can lead to more serious conditions.

The veins in your leg have a tough job. They must work against gravity to shuttle blood from your lower limbs back up to your heart. Sometimes, the one-way valves that keep blood moving in the right direction weaken or malfunction.

As a result, blood backs up and your veins expand, swell, and twist beneath your skin’s surface.

As many as 25 million Americans have varicose veins. Risk for varicose veins increases:

  • With age
  • During pregnancy
  • In people who are overweight or obese
  • Because of prolonged sitting or standing

For many, varicose veins are little more than a cosmetic concern. However, in severe cases or cases that go without treatment, varicose veins can cause:

  • A heavy feeling in the ankles or legs
  • Throbbing or cramping pain
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Discolored, hard, thickened or itchy skin
  • Open wounds called ulcers

Treatment for varicose veins is:

  • Outpatient, provided in the office, not the hospital
  • Minimally invasive, not requiring a large or painful incision
  • Affordable, since varicose veins are a legitimate medical condition and treatment is covered by most insurance plans

For more information about varicose vein diagnosis and treatment at Tanner, visit tanner.org/vascular-care.

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