Dr Hugo C. Neves e Dr Edson A. Neves
Tratamento de Varizes

Varicose veins

por , 11/09/2010

What Are Varicose Veins?


Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that are visible just under the surface of the skin. They appear most commonly in the legs, but also can develop in other parts of the body.


 


Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the tissues of the body to the heart. In the heart, blood is pumped to the lungs to pick up oxygen. The oxygen-rich blood is then pumped out to the body through the arteries. From the arteries, blood flows through tiny blood vessels called capillaries, where it gives up its oxygen to the body”s tissues. The blood then returns back to the heart through the veins to pick up more oxygen.


 


Veins have one-way valves that help to keep the blood flowing toward the heart. When the valves don’t work well, blood backs up and pools in the veins. This causes them to swell and become varicose veins.


 


Varicose veins usually don”t cause medical problems. On occasion, they require treatment for pain, skin problems, blood clots, or other complications. People may choose to have cosmetic treatment to improve the appearance of varicose veins.


 


Related Vein Problems


A number of other types of vein problems are related to varicose veins.


 


Spider Veins


Spider veins are a smaller version of varicose veins. They occur in the capillaries, which are the smallest blood vessels in the body. Spider veins are commonly found on the legs and face, and they usually resemble a spider web or tree branch in shape. They can be red or blue. Spider veins are usually not a medical concern.


 


Telangiectasias


 


Telangiectasias are small clusters of blood vessels that look similar to spider veins. They are red in color and are commonly found on the upper body, including the face. They can develop during pregnancy and in people who have certain genetic disorders, viral infections, and other medical conditions (such as liver disease). Newly developed telangiectasias are often a reason to see a doctor.


 


Venous Lakes


Venous lakes are another type of varicose veins in which blood collects in the veins of the face and neck.


 


Reticular Veins


Reticular veins are flat blue veins commonly seen behind the knees.


 


Varicoceles


 


Varicoceles are varicose veins in the scrotum (the skin over the testicles). Varicoceles may be linked to male infertility and should be checked by a doctor.


 


Outlook


People with varicose veins often require only simple self-care measures, such as performing certain leg exercises, wearing compression stockings, and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing. For those who are concerned about the appearance of varicose veins, several cosmetic treatments are available. Although uncommon, in some cases, complications such as pain, skin ulcers, and blood clots can develop. A variety of medical and surgical procedures are used to treat varicose veins in these more complicated cases.


 


What Causes Varicose Veins?


 


Veins, especially those in the legs, have to pump the blood “up hill” to the heart, against gravity. Inside the veins are one-way valves that help with pumping action and prevent blood from flowing backward. These valves allow blood to flow in only one direction, toward the heart. Varicose veins develop when the valves become weakened, damaged, or don’t work well.


 


Weakness in the valves may be due to weakness in the walls of the veins. This weakness tends to be associated with certain factors, including increasing age, a family history of varicose veins, or high pressure inside veins due to overweight or pregnancy.



 


When the walls of the veins are weak, they lose their normal elasticity, like an overstretched rubber band. This makes them longer and wider and causes the flaps of the valves to separate. Blood is then able to flow backward through the valves, filling the vein and stretching it even more. The vein becomes enlarged, swollen, and often twisted trying to squeeze into its normal space.


 


 


Dr Edson A Neves – Angiologista


 

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