Varicose veins are a very common condition that tend to develop with advancing age and are more frequent in women than men, although they can become severe in both sexes.
The legs have two main blood drainage systems that take oxygen-depleted blood from the legs back to the heart. These are the superficial and the deep venous systems. They are connected to each other by means of perforator veins. The superficial system is the system that is visible under the skin and where the obvious varicose veins show up. The flow back to the heart is controlled and enhanced by a valve system in the veins to prevent the blood from flowing backwards back into the legs. Varicose veins develop when pressure buildup in the deep vein system over time, disrupts these protective valves and the blood begins to damn back from the deep system, through the perforators, back down the surface system and creates at first fine veins and then the bulging varicose veins. Depending on the size of the veins and the flow in the deep venous system, they can be removed with either LASER, medical injections known as sclerotherapy, or by surgical removal. Each technique has its own advantages and potential complications and should be discussed in detail with your doctor.