varicose vein


varicose vein

Twisted vein distended with blood. Varix also covers arteries and lymphatic vessels (see lymphatic system). Varicose veins occur mostly in the legs, when malfunctioning valves let blood pool in veins near the skin. Causes include hereditary valve and vein wall weakness and internal or external pressure on veins. Varices are common in pregnancy, suggesting that hormone abnormalities play a role. Symptoms include a heavy feeling, with leg cramps and swelling after standing a long time. Complications include skin ulcers and thrombosis. Treatment involves strong support hose, injection therapy, or surgery. Varices in the esophagus, which often occur in liver disease, can ulcerate and bleed. See also hemorrhoid.

Variants of VARICOSE VEIN

varicose vein or varix

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on varicose vein, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up varicose vein? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More