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Causes of Varicose Veins


Varicose veins develop as a result of a defective or damaged valve within the veins. The valves are supposed to keep the blood flowing upward towards the heart, if a valve becomes defective or damaged the blood collects in the veins. As the blood collects the pressure within the vein builds up causing the vein to weaken, enlarge, and twist. There are several factors that can increase a patient’s risk of developing varicose veins, including:


  • A family history of varicose veins

  • Pregnancy 

  • Obesity

  • Prolonged standing

  • Aging

  • Abnormalities in the vein walls

  • Preexisting conditions that cause abnormal strain on the veins in the legs

  • Trauma or prior surgery


Varicose Vein Treatment in St. Louis
Symptoms of Varicose Veins


The most common symptom of varicose veins is large twisted veins blue in coloring that protrude from the surface of the skin. While not all patients will experience additional symptoms, some patients may experience all or some of the following symptoms in addition to the cosmetic changes:


  • Swelling around the ankle or lower leg

  • Discoloration around the affected area

  • Dry or itching skin

  • Rash around the affected area

  • Leg fatigue or a heaving feeling in the legs

  • Pain, throbbing, or cramping around the visible veins


Varicose veins are often progressive and will worsen over time. If open sores develop, or if swelling or discoloration occurs you should seek treatment from their doctor.


Treatment of Varicose Veins


You can take steps at home to ease symptoms and decrease the progression of the disease including wearing compression stockings, elevating the affected leg(s), avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity, and increasing weekly exercise to improve blood flow. If symptoms increase or if you become concerned about the look of the veins, Dr. Rao will often recommend sclerotherapy for smaller veins and laser ablation for larger veins. Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a solution is injected into the affected veins which causes the veins to slowly collapse and fade away within a few weeks. Laser ablation is an in-office procedure where are laser energy is used to seal off the defective valve to reroute the blood flow to healthy veins.


Learn more about sclerotherapy and laser ablation.


Varicose Vein Treatments in St .Louis, MO


Dr. Ricardo Rao is a fellowship-trained, board certified vascular surgeon who specializes in non-surgical treatments for the treatment of varicose and spider veins and minimally invasive vascular surgery. The staff at the Complete Vein Center of St. Louis is committed to providing the highest quality experience and treatments to patients in greater St. Louis area. For more information about spider veins and treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rao at the Complete Vein Center of St. Louis 314.989.WELL​.


Varicose Vein Treatment in St. Louis


Varicose veins are abnormally thick and twisted veins that appear dark blue and enlarged under the skin. Varicose veins most often appear on the legs, specifically the ankles and thighs, but they can form anywhere in the body. A very common condition, approximately 19% of men and 36% of women suffer from varicose veins. (emedicinehealth)

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