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Varicose Veins

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.

Find out more about the Johns Hopkins Veins Centers.

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Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, and Venous Ulcers

Vascular surgeon Jennifer Heller discusses causes, symptoms, and risk factors of varicose veins, spider veins and venous ulcers.

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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:

  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • 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.

  1. Your vascular surgeon will ask you questions about your:
    1.  general health
    2. medical history
    3.  symptoms
  2. 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.
  3. Your vascular surgeon will listen for sounds of blood flow in your arteries. Your blood pressure will be taken.
  4. After the history and exam, if your vascular surgeon suspects you have varicose veins, he or she may order several diagnostic tests.

Diagnostic Tools

Varicose Veins are diagnosed by:

Treatment for Varicose Veins

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Varicose Vein Treatment

Vascular surgeon Jennifer Heller discusses treatments for varicose veins, spider veins and venous ulcers, such as compression stockings and surgical options.

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There are several treatment options for varicose veins. Conservative options may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss. Additional options may include:

Convenient Locations

The Johns Hopkins Vein Centers are conveniently located in:

To make an appointment, call 410-550-VEIN (8346) or request a consultation online.

Physicians who treat this condition


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