What causes varicose veins?

Vein disease is seldom a life or death problem. We do see patients that have very bad dermatitis and ulceration and we see patients that come in sometimes with bleeding, but those are the rare exceptions. Vein disease takes affect over many, many years or decades. The one thing we can say for sure is that if vein disease is not addressed, it will get worse. It will progress from maybe just a few cosmetically disturbing veins to symptoms like achiness, tiredness, restless legs, and then further down the line, swelling, dermatitis, skin breakdown, ulceration. It's something that shouldn't be ignored. For many years, us brilliant doctors used to ignore folks with vein disease and say, "Put on the stockings. There's not much we can do for you", and then when there's a complication, then we go to the hospital and do stripping. It was the classic reactive medicine. Now, fortunately, we know more about the disease process and we have minimally invasive treatments so we can be more proactive.

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