Varicose veins are dilated veins that lie beneath the surface of the skin and often a cosmetic concern.. They may represent an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency, and are secondary to impaired venous flow leading to increased outward venous pressure to skin veins.
Varicose veins appear as twisted, bulging large surface veins with a purple or bluish coloration. They may cause leg heaviness, burning, throbbing, restless legs, pain after prolonged standing, itching, inflammation. However, most individuals remain asymptomatic for years before symptoms manifest.
Veins are typically identified by the patient first. Further testing is not required until patient begins to develop symptoms. Testing may include venous ultrasound and/or CT scan of the leg veins for further evaluation.
Treatment options include leg elevation, and avoidance of prolonged standing or sitting, which may worsen the size and frequency of varicose veins. Bleeding or painful varicose veins may require endovenous ablation, phlebectomy or sclerotherapy for definitive treatment. Even after treatment, varicose veins may re-develop in other areas if the underlying cause has not been adequately treated.