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VARICOSE VEINS: CAN IT BE A SIGN OF VEIN DISEASE?


Varicose veins are often misunderstood as simply a cosmetic issue, but when left untreated, they can progress into a more serious condition called chronic venous insufficiency.


VEIN DISEASE

Healthy leg veins have valves that keep blood flowing to the heart. Vein disease develops when the valves stop working properly and allow blood to flow backward (i.e., reflux) and pool in the lower leg veins.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Varicose veins

  • Aching or pain

  • Swelling

  • Cramping

  • Heaviness or tiredness

  • Itching

  • Restlessness

  • Skin changes

  • Brown, colored skin

  • Open sores or ulcers


RISK FACTORS

  • Family history

  • Lack of exercise

  • Leg injury or trauma

  • Prolonged sitting or standing

  • Obesity or excess weight

  • Current or previous pregnancies

  • Smoking


The goal of treatment for vein disease is to reduce or stop the backward flow of blood.

The following may be prescribed to treat your varicose veins. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is best for you:

  • Compression stockings

  • Removing diseased vein

  • Closing diseased vein (through thermal or nonthermal treatment)

With proper treatment, the progressive symptoms of vein disease are preventable.


Without treatment, signs and symptoms may progress and significantly impact quality of life, and lead to venous leg ulcers.


Healthy leg veins have valves that keep blood flowing to the heart. Venous reflux develops when the valves stop working properly and allow blood to flow backward (i.e., reflux) and pool in the lower leg veins.


VENOUS REFLUX

Venous reflux is a progressive medical condition and if left untreated, may worsen over time and develop into a more serious form of venous disease called chronic venous insufficiency


CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY

If CVI is left untreated, legs can sometimes develop painful sores or wounds on the skin’s surface called ulcers. Normally ulcers appear near the ankles or lower leg and are brought on from the increased build-up of fluid and blood pressure from veins affected by CVI.


For more information, visit Medtronic's website at www.medtronic.com

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