About Varicose Veins
Veins are blood vessels that return blood from the rest of the body to the heart. They are a network throughout the tissues of the body. Just like any other part of the human body things can go wrong and the veins don't function the way they should.
Varicose veins are the most common problem that arise and are a very common vascular condition. Everyone will know or remember a friend or family member with bulging veins down their leg. The bulging and twisting of these large veins is caused by failure of one-way valves in the vein system and an increase in pressure in the vein. (see figure right)
Apart form their physical appearance, they often cause symptoms and can, in some people, cause significant skin changes around the calf and ankle; even ulceration. Mostly though the symptoms are more subtle; it is often only after they've been treated, and the symptoms have gone, that the severity of the symptoms become apparent.