What are varicose veins?
Although this may appear simple, it is actually much more difficult than it first appears.
Most people think that varicose veins are lumpy veins seen or felt on the legs - often appearing blue or green. Although this is true in the very strictest sense of the term "varicose veins" it only shows half the people with a varicose vein problem. For every person with these obvious varicose veins, there is another person with "hidden varicose veins".
This becomes a major problem when we consider firstly how many people suffer from varicose veins or "hidden varicose veins" and also what can happen if they are not treated.
Varicose veins effect about 20% (1 in 5) of the population. However approximately 40% (2 in 5) of the population have problems with venous incompetence. This is the cause of varicose veins, and we call this "hidden varicose veins" to make it easier to understand.
This website was last updated on 11/09/12. Content has been provided by Mr Mark Whiteley MS FRCS (Gen) FCPhleb. Mark Whiteley is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon from the UK