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
- 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.