By Gary M. White, MD
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and tortuous veins on the lower legs. They are generally blue or dark purple.
- They are common in older people and result from chronic venous insufficiency.
- A common pattern is the ankle flare.
Large varicose veins and smaller telangiectasias (spider veins) of the legs are related to chronic venous insufficiency. Investigations to define the origin and extent of the varicose veins and the competency of the deeper venous system can involve physical examination, blood pressure measurement, doppler ultrasound, and phlebography.
Sclerotherapy for smaller and surgery for larger vessels may be done. A more in depth discussion of treatment is beyond the scope of this site.
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