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Definition of Varicose vein

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Varicose vein: A vein that has enlarged and twisted, often appearing as a bulging, blue blood vessel that is clearly visible through the skin. Varicose veins are most common in older adults, particularly women, and occur especially on the legs. Varicose veins can cause cramping pain and movement problems, or they may simply be a cosmetic concern. Treatment includes elevating the affected limb, wearing support hose to increase pressure on the vein, and in some cases surgery.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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