varicose vein


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

var·i·cose vein

(var'i-kōs vān)
Permanent dilation and tortuosity of a vein, most commonly seen in the legs, probably as a result of congenitally incomplete valves; there is a predisposition to varicose veins among persons in occupations requiring long periods of standing, and in pregnant women.
Enlarge picture
VARICOSE VEINS IN LEG

varicose vein

A dilated vein. This condition may occur in almost any part of the body but is most common in the lower extremities and in the esophagus.

Etiology

The development of varicose veins of the legs is promoted and aggravated by pregnancy, obesity, genetics, chronic constipation, straining at stool, and occupations requiring prolonged standing. Esophageal varices are caused by portal hypertension that accompanies cirrhosis of the liver or mechanical obstruction and occlusion of hepatic veins.

Symptoms

Most varicose veins of the legs are asymptomatic, although they may be cosmetically undesirable. Esophageal varices and hemorrhoidal varices may bleed profusely. See: illustration

Treatment

In hemorrhage, elevation of the extremity and firm, gentle pressure over the wound will stop the bleeding. The patient should not be permitted to walk until the acute condition is controlled. Sclerotherapy, rubber band ligation, or octreotide may be used to control bleeding caused by hemorrhage from esophageal varices.

Patient care

The patient with lower extremity varicosities is taught to avoid anything that impedes venous return, such as wearing garters and tight girdles, crossing the legs at the knees, and prolonged sitting. After the legs have been elevated for 10 to 15 min, support hose are applied. The patient should not sit in a chair for longer than 1 hr at a time. Walking is encouraged for at least 5 min every hour. The patient should elevate the legs whenever possible, but no less than twice a day for 30 min each time, and should avoid prolonged standing. Exercise, esp. walking, is encouraged to promote the muscular contraction that moves blood through the veins and minimizes venous stasis. Signs of thrombophlebitis, a complication of varicose veins, include heat and local pain. If surgery is performed, elastic stockings or antithrombus devices are applied postoperatively, and the foot of the bed is elevated above the level of the heart. Analgesics are prescribed and administered as needed. Circulatory assessment (color and temperature of toes, pedal pulses) is carried out according to protocol or the surgeon’s orders. The patient is watched for complications such as bleeding, infection, and neurosensory problems. Overweight patients must lose weight.

See also: vein
References in periodicals archive ?
The problem with getting rid of varicose veins is that even when one vein is destroyed, other varicose veins can appear over time.
Considerable rise in prevalence of varicose vein problem, surge in geriatric population, advanced varicose vein treatment devices, engagement in occupation that increases the prevalence of varicose vein treatment and technological advancements globally, boost the growth of the market.
p wi devel Given the complex nature of my varicose veins I was on the table for two hours in the morning and another two after lunch.
The study population was divided into two groups: group 1 included 427 patients with systematized VVs, represented by truncal or valvular varicose veins, and group 2 included 81 patients with non-systemized VVs, representing diffuse varicose disorders, affecting the collateral venous system.
In addition to noting the unsightly appearance, patients with varicose veins may complain of aching, heaviness, pruritus, and early fatigue of the affected leg.
[USA], Sep 24 ( ANI ): According to a study, height may be a risk factor for varicose veins.
Greater height remained independently associated with varicose veins after adjustment for traditional risk factors (hazard ratio for upper versus lower quartile, 1.74).
Spontaneous hemoperitoneum due to rupture of uterine varicose vein during labor successfully treated by percutaneous embolization.
When the valves of the superficial system are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool, which can cause varicose veins that are enlarged, swollen or twisted.
It's obviously a sign of my age that my friends have stopped fretting about cellulite and started agonising over varicose veins. Some are at the stage of basically just freaking out about the appearance of gnarly ropes on their calves, others are well down the road of repeat treatments.
The affected limb was raised one to two minutes after EVLT, a tourniquet was tied, and the varicose vein was stripped.