Varicose VeinsVein disease of the legs is one of the most common medical conditions. Approximately half of the population has some form of vein disease. Varicose veins affect between 15-25% of all adults, and approximately 50% of all people over age 50. Women have a higher incidence of vein disease than men.
The single most important cause of vein disease is heredity. Approximately 70% of all patients with varicose veins have parents with the same condition. Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies, is a contributing cause of vein disease. Other factors influencing vein disease are age, obesity and jobs that require long periods of standing.
Veins are the blood vessels that return blood to the heart from the body. To overcome the force of gravity, inside the veins are one-way valves which open to allow blood flow to the heart and close to prevent "reflux" of blood back to the body. When these valves fail to function, or if the vein is damaged so the valves do not completely close, blood can begin to pool in the vein and cause a variety of vein complications.
The different types of vein disease are:
Spider veins are the small, thread-like colored veins that are most often seen on the surface of the skin. While many people seek treatment for spider veins for cosmetic reasons, spider veins can also result in substantial discomfort requiring therapy.
Varicose veins are the large, "rope-like" veins which are often 1/4" or larger in diameter. Varicose veins generally grow in size over time and can result in substantial pain and complications if not treated.
Depending on the type and stage of vein disease, there are many different treatments. Your physician can explain all of the options. The following are methods of diagnosis and treatment of vein disease:
‑ Venous Ultrasound Evaluation
‑ Endovenous Laser Therapy