Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are common. In fact, more than half of Americans over 50 have them. While they are usually not associated with more severe health problems, they can be painful, unattractive and worsen over time. They may cause swelling in the legs and feet, a sense of fatigue or restlessness in the leg muscles, and throbbing and cramping at night. The skin surrounding the veins may also itch and burn.

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that often look like cords and appear bulging and twisted. They may be flesh-colored, dark purple or blue in appearance. Varicosities are swollen and raised above the skin. The most common location for varicose veins is the legs.

While genetics play a large role in who develops varicose veins, anyone can get them. In fact, more than half of Iowans over age 50 suffer from varicose veins to some degree. Causes range from genetics, pregnancy and obesity to occupations that require prolonged standing, hormone therapy and leg trauma. Although there are cosmetic concerns for many patients, most seek treatment to relieve swelling, aching or chronic leg pain.

The Vein Center at Iowa Heart performs Endovenous Vein Ablation and Ambulatory Phlebectomy for the treatment of varicose veins.

Common signs and symptoms of varicose veins may include:

  • Pain in the legs
  • Easily tired legs
  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Swelling of the ankle or lower leg
  • Discolored, brownish or reddened skin near the ankle
  • An itching or irritated rash on the legs
  • Skin ulceration on the ankle or lower leg
  • Restless leg
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs

Am I a Candidate?

Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.