Varicose Veins


What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are veins that become large, twisted, and swollen. They are common on the back of your calves, knees, and thighs.

What causes varicose veins? Varicose veins are caused by valves in your veins that do not work properly. This causes blood to collect and increase pressure in the veins of your legs. The increased pressure causes your veins to stretch, get larger, swell, and twist.

What increases my risk of varicose veins?

What are the signs and symptoms of varicose veins? Your symptoms may be worse after you stand or sit for long periods of time. You may have any of the following:

How are varicose veins diagnosed? Your healthcare provider will examine your legs and ask about your medical history. You may need a test called a Doppler ultrasound or duplex scan. This test uses sound waves to show pictures of your veins on a monitor. It is done to show how blood flows through your veins and to check for blood clots.

How are varicose veins treated? Treatment of varicose veins aims to decrease symptoms, improve appearance, and prevent further problems. It will depend on which veins are affected and how severe your condition is. You may need any of the following:

What can I do to manage my symptoms?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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