Varicose veins are the ones that bulge right under your skin, usually on your legs. They bulge because their little back-flow valves aren’t working very well, and blood accumulates instead of moving along to the heart. You’re more likely to develop varicose veins if you’re female, or elderly, or overweight, or pregnant, or on your feet too much at work. It also seems to run in families.
If your bulging veins hurt, or you just don’t like them, you can have them treated. ‘Endothermal ablation’ uses heat to seal them up. ‘Sclerosing’ does the same thing, only chemically. ‘Ligation and stripping’ means removal by a vascular surgeon. Sealing or removing these damaged veins does not normally cause any circulation problems. You have enough veins to take over the work that these damaged veins did.
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