What Is a Varicosity

Updated on: September 30, 2019

A varicosity is a vein that is dilated, which usually develops in the legs. These abnormally enlarged, swollen veins are also commonly known as varicose veins. Doctors may interchangeably use the terms varicosity, varices, varicosis, or varicose vein. The vein’s job is to carry blood low in oxygen from the body to the lungs and heart after the arteries carry blood out.

The successful cycle of oxygen and nutrients to the extremities and then back to the heart and lungs to replenish is critical for the body to work properly. The valve's job is to make sure that blood does not flow backward and goes upwards to the heart and lungs. When they stop working, blood flows backward pooling within the veins, which consequently causes varicosities to occur.

Defining the Terms

There are many terms that doctors may use when diagnosing and treating varicose veins. Here they are explained below:

  • Venous insufficiency – A condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart. Venous insufficiency and poor circulation are often linked.
  • Vein disease Caused by venous insufficiency where people may experience painful symptoms like swelling, skin discoloration, restlessness, or difficulty walking.
  • Varicose veins – Enlarged, swollen veins that often become raised due to blood pooling with the veins. Varicose veins are caused by venous insufficiency. People who have varicose veins often have symptoms associated with vein disease like leg pain or swelling.
  • Spider veins Small red, purple, or blue veins that are often not raised like varicose veins. They are usually seen right below the skin’s surface and do not always cause painful symptoms. They get their name because they often branch off like spider webs.

Treatment for Varicosities

If you think you may have varicosity, it’s important to get treatment in a timely manner. Complications such as blood clots, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS), Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), vein infections, and venous ulcers may arise if your varicosity is left untreated. Thankfully, treatment for varicosities is convenient and quick so you can get back to enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle in no time.

You can learn about our varicosity treatments by exploring our website or by giving us a call at 888-628-9389. Our patient coordinators will be happy to answer all of your questions about our physicians, locations, and services.

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