Venous Disease afflicts approximately 20-25% of the female population and 10-15% of the male population in one form or another, usually as varicose or spider veins. This problem can occasionally affect teenagers, but occurs more commonly in the thirties, forties, and fifties, however, it can occur even later. It is generally a lifetime disorder and although the causes are usually genetic, additional factors may play a significant and predisposing role.
Veins are responsible for returning blood to the heart after it travels through the arterial system into the legs. The venous system is composed of both a deep and superficial system. The deep system returns 90% of the venous blood and is situated within the muscles of the leg, while the superficial system returns the remaining 10%.
While varicose, reticular and spider veins can cause symptoms such as burning, swelling, aching, throbbing and heaviness, they all have different methods of treatment. Untreated, venous disease can progress to bleeding from leg veins, ankle ulcers and superficial blood clots (phlebitis). Deep vein clots (DVT) generally occur independently of varicose veins but can produce venous ulcers, bleeding and advanced chronic skin changes in the legs. Varicose vein disease may also involve the face, torso and hands. Fortunately, all the above conditions can be effectively treated, especially if addressed early in the process.