Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, superficial veins resulting from poorly functioning valves, most commonly in the legs. They may cause no symptoms or may cause a dull, heavy aching, itching, burning, fatigue, and cramping in the legs.
Symptoms of varicose veins may include:
- Pain in the legs: fullness, heaviness, aching
- Visible, enlarged veins
- Mild swelling of ankles
- Skin at the ankle discolored brown
- Skin ulcers near the ankle
Risk Factors of Varicose Veins
There are several risk factors for varicose veins. The most common include:
- Family history
- A profession in which you stand on your legs for long periods of time
What to Expect at Your Medical Exam
Your vascular surgeon will try to determine if you are suffering from varicose veins as well as the best method of treatment.
- Your vascular surgeon will ask you questions about your:
- general health
- medical history
- Your vascular surgeon will conduct a physical examination. You will be asked about family and medical history. Your vascular surgeon will ask you to describe your symptoms; how often they occur, how often and their location.
- Your vascular surgeon will listen for sounds of blood flow in your arteries. Your blood pressure will be taken.
- After the history and exam, if your vascular surgeon suspects you have varicose veins, he or she may order several diagnostic tests.
Varicose Veins are diagnosed by:
- Physical Examination
- Duplex/Doppler Ultrasound
Treatment for Varicose Veins
There are several treatment options for varicose veins. Conservative options may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss. Additional options may include:
- Compression garments or stockings to squeeze the veins and stop excess blood from flowing backward
- Endovenous ablation therapy
- Laser treatment
- Laser vein ablation
- Surgical vein stripping
- VNUS ® Closure
The Johns Hopkins Vein Centers are conveniently located in:
- Columbia/Howard County
To make an appointment, call 410-550-VEIN (8346) or request a consultation online.