<p><strong>What Are Varicose Veins?</strong></p>
<p>Varicose veins are twisted, swollen veins near the surface of the skin. Veins are the vessels that return blood to the heart after oxygen has been delivered to the body’s tissues. Valves along the walls of the veins permit blood to flow in only one direction. Varicose veins occur when weak or defective valves allow blood to flow backward or stagnate within the vein, a condition known as <em>venous insufficiency</em>.</p>
<p>In this condition, the one-way valves within veins no longer function and therefore allow blood to flow backwards away from the heart and towards the floor. This reversal of blood flow leads to the pooling and stagnation of blood within veins of the leg. If left untreated, this stagnant blood leads to symptoms such as leg swelling, fatigue, heaviness, pain, cramps, and restless legs as well as to the of large unsightly varicose veins.</p>
Alternative Names Swelling of the ankles - feet - legs; Ankle swelling; Foot swelling; Leg swelling; Edema - peripheral; Peripheral edema Prevention Avoid sitting or standing without moving for prolonged periods of time. When flying, stretch your legs often and get up to walk when possible. When driving, stop to stretch and walk every hour or so. Avoid wearing restrictive clothing or garters around your thighs. Exercise regularly. Lose weight if you need to. References Goldman L. Approach to the patient with possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 48.
Vein stripping is surgery to remove varicose veins in the legs.
Vein stripping with ligation, avulsion, or ablation; Saphenous vein ligation
Varicose veins are swollen, painful veins that have filled with blood. They usually develop in the legs.
Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing forward, so the blood does not collect in one place.
The valves with varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to become filled with blood, especially when you are standing.
Vein stripping for this problem is done to remove a large vein in the leg called the superficial saphenous vein.
Vein stripping takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Most people receive either:
and will be unconscious and unable to feel pain.
, which will make the lower half of your body feel numb. You may also get medicine to help you relax...
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