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  • 09 Nov 14
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Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged, twisted, tortuous veins, which are on the surface of the skin, and most often are seen in the legs. They generally worsen over time if a person does not have vein treatments. The causes of varicose veins are numerous but always include faulty or weakened valves in the veins.

Varicose veins form because of the challenges the blood in the legs must overcome to return up to the heart. Blood in the ankle for example has to travel uphill at least three or more feet, against the pull of gravity and against the bodies weith, ot make it to the heart. It’s not physically possible for blood in the ankle to just return to the heart in one quick jump. It also lacks the constant propelling force the heart has on the blood in the arteries to push blood out to the body. The ‘legs heart’ however, does help, with the contraction of calf and thigh muscles aiding in the pushing of blood back up towards the heart. This is all aided by the one-way valves, which allow the blood return to occur in multiple steps.

In varicose veins, the venous valves are not working. This condition thus allows blood to ‘fall back’ downward into the veins of the legs. This reversed flow in the circulation is due to gravity. The non-working valves are allowing what should be a one directional flow pattern, back up towards the heart, to become a two directional system as the blood back-flows downward into the legs.

Fortunately today there are modern and minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins. The primary methods involve lasers, microsurgery, and injection treatments and often a combination of these options. Its best to see a vein specialist to have all treatments explained to you and decide how best to treat your varicosities.

About Lee Shulman MD

Dr. Lee G. Shulman M.D. was one of the very first physicians to be invited to take the board certification exam in Phlebology (the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of venous disorders), and even has the board certification certificate number #00045.

He was also done original work, being the first physician to ever lecture on the treatment of hand veins for cosmetic improvement, and the treatment of patients taking the blood thinner Coumadin. Dr. Shulman has been a member of the American College of Phlebology, the North American Society of Phlebology, the American Registry For Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the American College of Angiology, the American Medical Association, and the New York State Medical Society.

Dr. Shulman has volunteered and gone to Mexico as a medical missionary with the Hackett Hemwall Foundation treating varicose veins and ulcerations in an indigent patient population on the outskirts of Guadalajara Mexico.

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