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The veins in your legs work hard to pump blood back up to your heart and lungs. Sometimes the veins don’t function properly and normal blood flow is disrupted. This can lead to varying degrees of leg vein disease (also called venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency).

Your leg veins

Veins in your legs have valves that keep blood flowing upward. When you have leg vein disease, these valves don’t work properly. Veins with defective valves are called incompetent veins.

When veins become incompetent, blood cannot flow upward. The pressure inside the vein increases and blood begins to flow backwards, towards the foot. This is called reflux.

The degree and type of vein disease depends on the vein(s) affected. Click here to learn more about the superficial, perforating, and deep veins in your legs.

Incompetent veins

Incompetent veins can lead to spider veins and varicose veins. Varicose veins can progress to a more serious form of venous disease called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Besides unappealing bulging veins, people with CVI may suffer from pain, cramping, swelling, itching, heaviness, fatigue, and restless legs. CVI is a progressive disease and problems can become more serious if not treated. These include swelling, changes in skin color, bleeding, permanent scarring and hardening of tissues, and skin ulcers.

While problems with superficial veins are visible to the eye, there could be much more going on that you cannot see. Using ultrasound, Dr. Bellamah can view the entire network of diseased veins. Finding the deeper source of visible varicose veins is important for developing an effective treatment plan.

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