Varicose veins are thick, twisted veins that appear on the surface of the skin. These unsightly veins typically appear on the back of a person’s lower leg. But why does a varicose vein appear at all?
A varicose vein will appear as the result of a problem with the circulatory system, which includes a complex network of veins and arteries that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body and back.
With every beat of your heart, arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of the body, including your lower legs. The cells of your body use the oxygen and nutrients in the blood to perform various functions. As they work, the cells create byproducts and toxins and release these byproducts and toxins into the blood. Your veins then carry this blood back up to the heart.
Gravity helps arteries move blood downward into your lower legs, but gravity works against veins trying to carry that blood back up towards your heart. Your blood can flow backward, or reflux, in between heartbeats and accumulate in the veins of your lower legs.
Tiny valves in your veins are supposed to prevent reflux. These valves open and close at just the right time to trap your blood in a small segment of your vein in between heartbeats.
These valves can fail to allow the blood to flow downward, though. Unable to move upward, the blood can accumulate in the veins of your lower legs. The excess blood presses against the walls of the veins and the veins can respond by bloating and twisting. When this happens to a vein sitting near the surface of your skin, a varicose vein appears.
Varicose veins can develop in veins deeper inside your legs or body, but you can only see the ones that develop at the surface of your skin.
Certain factors can increase the risk that a varicose vein will appear. Women tend to have a higher risk of varicose veins than do men, according to the National Institutes of Health, as do older adults, people with a family history of varicose veins, a personal history of pregnancy, leg trauma, being overweight or obese, or who have a sedentary lifestyle.
Varicose vein treatment focuses on closing the diseased vein. After treatment, the treated vein collapses and breaks apart. The varicose vein fades away as surrounding tissue absorbs the remnants of the treated blood vessel. Your circulatory system routes blood through nearby blood vessels.
Cincinnati vein treatment can help reduce the appearance of varicose veins. Many patients who undergo vein treatment cannot believe the difference in the appearance of varicose veins before & after varicose vein surgery. For more information about varicose veins and varicose vein treatment, contact Vascular and Interventional Associates in Crestview Hills, KY.