Capitol Vein Blog

Monday, October 3, 2011

What Causes Varicose Veins?

The cause of varicose veins and problems associated with them, such as venous eczema, phlebitis (skin level blood clots), restless leg syndrome (RLS) and leg swelling is weakness of the vein wall and the fine valves within the veins.  In the normal leg, the blood goes down the arteries from the heart into the leg, and veins return blood back up the leg.  When varicose veins are present, there is a weakness in the venous system leading to gravitational pressures pushing the blood back down the veins, in reverse direction (reflux). 

We recognize that varicose veins occur often in a familial pattern, meaning that our patients often recount a parent or grandparent who had very similar vein conditions. Heredity plays a very big part in determining who will develop varicose veins.

Many people blame their job for their varicose veins - such as teachers, nurses, factory workers, hairdressers, etc. - but the job itself did not cause the veins to appear. The cause was the valve failure and vein weaknesses that have a genetic component. The long periods of standing allow the damage caused by the valve failure to happen more quickly.

Fortunately, treatments like VNUS Closure, ClariVein and microphlebectomy are very effective methods of eliminating the backflow in the veins. Sclerotherapy is a very nice complementary procedure to erase the unsightly spider veins that often accompany varicose veins.


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