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legsOver 25 million people in the United States suffer from symptomatic venous insufficiency, the underlying cause of varicose veins. Varicose veins are often mistakenly thought to be only a cosmetic condition when, in fact, they are usually a symptom of this disease. This condition progressively damages the valves of the saphenous vein and cosmetically disfigures the leg. Some common symptoms of venous insufficiency are:

  • Varicose veins
  • Burning or itching of the skin
  • Color and texture changes of the skin
  • Aching, tired or weak legs, especially after long periods of standing or sitting
  • Swollen legs and/or ankles (edema)
  • Poorly-healing wounds, such as skin ulcers commonly above the medial malleolus

We know that swollen legs are not exclusively a result of chronic venous insufficiency, nor are ulcers exclusively a diabetes complication. Overlooking a correct diagnosis may lead to an ineffective therapy. Furthermore, conservative treatment often fails to address the underlying disease. Key facts to consider are:

  1. Compression stockings only temporarily alleviate the symptoms of venous reflux
  2. Varicose veins are usually a symptom of an underlying, treatable saphenous vein reflux disease
  3. Venous disease is progressive in nature and may worsen if left untreated


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