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In the vascular system, arteries transport blood to the lower extremities, while the veins channel blood back to the heart via a series of one-way valves.
When these valves fail to function, blood that should be moving toward the heart moves backward, resulting in what we refer to as "vein reflux." The blood remains in the veins of the leg, causing the vessels to dilate and weaken, resulting in varicose veins.
Varicose veins are unsightly, but more importantly they can lead to significant medical concerns. If left untreated, these veins can form blood clots in the leg and cause ulcers to form on the skin.
Fortunately, varicose veins can be eliminated quickly and with minimal discomfort. In the past, treating varicose veins required hospitalization and a highly invasive procedure called "vein stripping." Now we can treat varicose veins using a variety of safe, minimally invasive therapies including sclerotherapy, thermal ablation and phlebectomy. All of these treatments are performed at St. Anthony's Hospital North and take less than an hour, with most patients resuming normal activities the very next day.
Although our therapies are highly effective at eliminating vein disease in the treated vessels, people prone to vein disease may develop new varicose veins over time. Most patients return periodically for follow-up treatments.
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