How Do Varicose Veins Form?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Blog Image How Do Varicose Veins Form

Varicose veins are a common condition that affects many people, especially as they age. Understanding how varicose veins develop is essential in recognizing the risk factors and taking preventive measures to prevent this uncomfortable, unsightly leg problem. We will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for varicose veins, shedding light on this prevalent vascular issue.

Understanding Varicose Veins

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH), varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that lie just under the skin, usually appearing in the legs. They are often blue or dark purple and can cause discomfort, pain, and cosmetic concerns for those affected. The formation of varicose veins is closely linked to the function of the veins and the factors that can lead to their weakening.

Causes of Varicose Veins

As a result of vein disease, varicose veins form when the walls of the veins weaken, leading to the pooling of blood and the enlargement of the affected veins. Factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins include:

  • Age: As individuals age, wear and tear on the veins' valves can occur, leading to an increased risk of varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy: The pressure exerted by the growing uterus on the veins in the pelvic area can contribute to the development of varicose veins in pregnant women.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men, partly due to hormonal influences and pregnancy-related factors.
  • Genetics: A family history of varicose veins can predispose individuals to this condition.
  • Prolonged standing or sitting: Occupations or lifestyles that involve long periods of standing or sitting can increase the risk of varicose veins.

Varicose Vein Symptoms and Complications

While varicose veins are generally not considered a serious medical condition, they can lead to complications such as inflammation, swelling, and, in rare cases, blood clots.

Varicose veins can cause a range of symptoms, including:

Visible appearance: Enlarged, twisted veins that are visible through the skin

Discomfort: Aching, heaviness, or pain in the affected areas

Skin changes: Discoloration, rashes, or sores on the skin are called venous stasis ulcers, otherwise known as leg ulcers

Vein Treatment Options

Several minimally invasive vein treatment options are available for the treatment of varicose veins, including:

Compression Stockings

These specially designed stockings help improve circulation and alleviate symptoms.


A common treatment involves the injection of a solution into the varicose veins to close.

Laser Ablation

A thin fiber is gently inserted through the skin and emits heat, causing the diseased vein to close. Blood then flows to healthier nearby veins.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Like laser ablation, a thin catheter is gently inserted into the vein through the skin, emitting radio waves that close the affected vein.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

A relatively minor outpatient surgical procedure, often conducted along with laser or radiofrequency ablation. Diseased veins are removed through tiny puncture incisions that require nothing more than a band-aid to close. Like other minimally invasive treatment procedures, patients return to regular activity immediately, with few restrictions.

Long-Term Effects of Untreated Venous Stasis Ulcers and Varicose Veins

The long-term effects of untreated venous stasis ulcers and varicose veins can be severe and may lead to various complications, affecting an individual's quality of life and overall health. Here are the potential long-term effects of untreated venous stasis ulcers and varicose veins based on the provided search results:

Untreated Venous Stasis Ulcers

Venous stasis ulcers, if left untreated, can result in permanent tissue damage and an increased risk of infection. The complications of untreated venous stasis ulcers may include:

  • Chronic inflammation: Persistent venous ulcers can lead to chronic inflammation in the affected area, causing discomfort and interfering with daily activities.
  • Infection: The risk of infection spreading to surrounding tissues, bones, or the bloodstream is heightened in untreated venous stasis ulcers, potentially leading to serious health complications.
  • Gangrene and amputation: In severe cases, untreated venous stasis ulcers can progress to gangrene, a condition characterized by tissue death, which may necessitate amputation.

Untreated Varicose Veins

Long-term effects of untreated varicose veins may include:

  • Skin changes: Untreated varicose veins can cause skin abnormalities, including eczema, thickening, and an increased risk of infection and inflammation.
  • Venous ulcers: People with long-term, untreated venous insufficiency may develop open sores in the skin called venous ulcers, which can be challenging to heal and may lead to further complications.

Financial and Quality of Life Implications of Untreated Varicose Veins and Leg Ulcers

The financial burden of varicose veins and venous ulcers on the healthcare system is substantial, with significant costs associated with chronic wound treatment and venous ulcer care.

Additionally, chronic venous insufficiency and its associated complications can impede an individual's capacity to participate in occupational and social activities, resulting in diminished quality of life and financial limitations.

What to Do if You Have Varicose Veins

Varicose veins form because of weakened vein walls and malfunctioning valves, leading to blood pooling and the characteristic enlargement and twisting of the affected veins. The long-term effects of untreated varicose veins can be severe, leading to chronic inflammation, infection, skin changes, and leg ulcers. Additionally, the financial burden and impact on an individual's quality of life due to chronic venous insufficiency and its associated complications should be considered.

These long-term effects underscore the importance of seeking timely, expert medical intervention and appropriate treatment for varicose veins to prevent the progression of these conditions and mitigate their potential complications. That’s where Center for Vein Restoration comes in.

Center for Vein Restoration (CVR): Expert Care for Varicose Veins

At CVR, we prioritize your venous health and overall well-being. Our experienced and compassionate vein care physicians and staff provide you with the highest standards of vein care, offering guidance, support, and education throughout your journey from chronic venous insufficiency back to vein health and comfort.

With over 200,000 patients cared for annually, our expertise allows us to anticipate your questions and meet your vein health needs, consistently earning a 98 percent patient satisfaction rating. We are here to guide you every step of the way, such as:

  1. Thoroughly explain what to expect during your first appointment.
  2. Diagnosing your vein disease and scheduling your vein treatment.
  3. Closely monitoring your progress as you return to feeling (and looking!) your best.

Insurance at Center for Vein Restoration

Center for Vein Restoration is proud to accept a wide range of insurance providers, including Aetna, Amerigroup, Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, MultiPlan, Medicaid, and Medicare. Our commitment to accommodating various insurance plans is part of our dedication to making vein treatment accessible to as many individuals as possible.

Schedule Your Consultation at Center for Vein Restoration

Don't let vein issues hold you back from living your best life. Take the initiative to address your venous health and embark on a journey towards improved well-being and confidence. Schedule your consultation with us today by calling 240-965-3915 . Or, you may schedule your consultation online at one of the 110+ CVR vein clinics near you.

This blog covers varicose veins, addressing causes, symptoms, and treatment options. It stresses understanding risk factors like age, pregnancy, genetics, and prolonged sitting and the potential long-term effects of untreated varicose veins, such as chronic inflammation, infection, skin changes, and leg ulcers, highlighting the need for timely intervention.

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