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Varicose veins are bulging, twisted, discolored veins that usually occur in the legs. Sometimes, they’re just an uncomfortable nuisance. At other times, they can develop into a more serious problem, causing leg pain and swelling.
At Henry Ford Health, our specialists bring together expertise from several fields of medicine to diagnose and treat varicose veins. You receive exceptional care to manage your symptoms and help you get back to the activities you enjoy.
Henry Ford’s vascular disease specialists have expertise in the latest advances for varicose veins, spider veins, blood clots and related issues. We specialize in minimally invasive procedures that relieve pain and other symptoms and improve the appearance of varicose veins.
Our program offers:
Enlarged, twisted veins that are visible under the skin’s surface are called varicose veins. They most commonly appear in your legs as blue or purple clusters. They’re sometimes surrounded by tiny veins (often red) known as spider veins.
Varicose veins can range from a mild, cosmetic issue to a more serious condition with painful aching. In rare cases, varicose veins can lead to complications such as skin sores (ulcers), bleeding or deep vein thrombosis, blood clots in deep veins.
Leg veins work against gravity to send blood up to your heart, helped by contractions in your leg muscles. Valves inside the veins open to send blood toward the heart and close to prevent it from flowing backward.
Varicose veins develop when weak or damaged valves allow blood to back up in the veins, causing them to stretch, twist and swell. Several factors can increase your risk of varicose veins, including:
The most common signs and symptoms of varicose veins are:
If the condition worsens, you may experience:
In some people, varicose veins can lead to more serious symptoms, such as:
Our vascular medicine specialists usually diagnose varicose veins during a physical exam, looking for signs such as swelling or discoloration. We also ask you about your symptoms and your personal and family health history.
Sometimes, we use additional testing to understand the size of the area affected or check for issues such as:
We may need to take scans to help us make a diagnosis. If so, you work with certified imaging technologists in our nationally accredited vascular testing labs.
Our technologists have advanced training and experience in the latest equipment, offering:
The vascular disease experts at Henry Ford offer the full range of treatments for varicose veins. Whether your case is mild or severe, our vascular surgeons and vascular medicine specialists tailor a treatment plan just for you. Find out more about the Henry Ford Vein Center.
Most people who have mild symptoms see our vascular specialists for ongoing management. Lifestyle changes and self-care can relieve symptoms, keep varicose veins from getting worse and help prevent possible complications.
Small changes can slow the progress of varicose veins and improve your symptoms. Our vascular specialists have years of experience helping people develop realistic goals to:
You can take steps on your own to improve the way you feel. Self-care for varicose veins includes:
For more severe varicose veins that cause pain or other symptoms, our vascular doctors offer the latest noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments. Your care team has extensive expertise with these outpatient procedures, developed from helping thousands of people. We use safe, effective treatments with little or no downtime.
Minimally invasive and noninvasive procedures close off varicose veins, which then fade. These therapies don’t disrupt blood circulation because blood goes to other, healthy veins.
Our noninvasive treatment options include:
Many of our minimally invasive treatments take an endovascular approach, with work done inside the vein. Minimally invasive options include:
Varicose veins typically respond well to treatment, but they can recur (come back). You can see our vascular specialists for long-term management after undergoing a procedure.