Varicose Veins


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CSA Vein Center

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IAC SealCSA is the first vein practice in Northeast Massachusetts to be fully accredited as a Certified Vein Center by the IAC (Intersocietal Accreditation Commission).
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What are varicose veins?


Varicose veins




The word "varicose" comes from the Latin root "varix," which means "twisted." Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins that you can see beneath your skin.



Spider veinsSpider veins are small web-shaped veins inside the skin. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short jagged lines. In the United States alone, about 20-25 million people, 15% of men and 25% of women, have varicose veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs.



Why do people get varicose veins?

The exact cause of varicose veins is unknown, but the common feature in many patients is superficial reflux. Malfunction of the valves in your superficial veins causes high pressure in these veins which then leads them to bulge out and become varicose. Over time, the pressure increases and varicose veins usually become larger.

Normal vs dilated vein

There are a number of other factors that contribute to the development of varicose and spider veins, including:

  • Heredity (you are more likely to get varicose veins if your mother or father had them, and may be due to inherited weakness in the vein walls or valves)
  • Age
  • Prolonged standing (especially for people who work in occupations such as nurses, beauticians, teachers, factory workers and others)
  • Anything that can cause increased pressure on your legs such as pregnancy, being overweight, or wearing tight undergarments or clothes
  • The use of birth control pills
  • Post-menopausal hormonal replacement therapy
  • A history of blood clots
  • Injury to the veins
  • Conditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen including liver disease, fluid in the abdomen, previous groin surgery, or heart failure