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When Referring To A Distended Blood Vessel, A Doctor May Use What Term?

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Doctors will often refer to a distended blood vessel as a varicose vein. Varicose veins are distended, enlarged and often tortuous, meaning that they are full of twists and turns. Varicose veins are most commonly found in the superficial veins in legs, due to them being subject to increased pressure when standing, but can occur elsewhere. Within veins there are leaflet valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards while the leg muscles pump blood back up to the heart. When the veins become varicose, the leaflet valves do not work efficiently, causing the blood to flow backwards and enlarge the veins further.

Varicose veins are quite noticeable, and therefore cause cosmetic problems for sufferers. They can also be painful and itchy as well as causing cramps and restless leg syndrome. Varicose veins are more common in women than in men, with pregnancy and menopause key causes of the disorder. Obesity, aging, prolonged standing and crossing your legs can all contribute towards the development of varicose veins, and research suggests that they can be hereditary. There can be complications from varicose veins that include skin conditions, ulcers, severe bleeding and clotting. The poor circulation affecting the limbs is normally the root of any of these complications. Although they can be serious, these complications are rare and typically, varicose veins are relatively benign.

It is possible to treat varicose veins depending on how severe they are. Conservative varicose veins can be controlled with compression stockings, anti-inflammatory medicine and elevating the legs for temporary relief. More severe varicose veins, also referred to as ‘active’, may need surgical procedures such as stripping, but can be treated without surgery with techniques such as sclerotherapy or endovenous thermal ablation. Some surgery can have long-term effects or cause complications, so often it is recommended that patients avoid it whenever possible and seek full medical advice.

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