Q5. What causes them?

A. Many factors contribute to the development of abnormal leg veins. The most likely factors include; age, standing occupations, pregnancy, female hormones, obesity, strong family history and varicose veins. Varicose veins, themselves, cause more veins to become abnormal.

Q6. Can they be prevented?

A. Specialised venous support stockings may help prevent the development of abnormal leg veins in certain circumstances. Shoes with high heels restrict normal ankle movement whilst walking and should be substituted with flat-soled shoes were possible.

Q7. What problems can they cause?

A. Cosmetic disfigurement, skin damage, skin scarring, skin rashes, blue lines and discolouration, leg aches, pains, leg heaviness, leg tiredness, more varicose veins and an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Q8. How can leg veins be assessed?

A. An experienced phlebologist may use a small hand-held Doppler unit to screen for leg vein abnormality. In addition an ultrasound examination will more comprehensively identify the type and extent of leg vein abnormality.

Q9. How can a deep-vein problem be identified?

A. Deep vein problems are usually associated with severe varicose veins and significant leg pain but fortunately are far less common than superficial vein problems. A specialised ultrasound scan is required to thoroughly assess the health of deep veins.

Q12. What effect does pregnancy have on leg veins?

A. Pregnancy is associated with increased blood volume, increase soft tissue relaxant hormones and increased abdominal pressure. These factors alone may cause leg veins to become abnormal and will certainly worsen existing abnormal leg veins.

Q13. Can vein problems be inherited?

A. Generally, patients with family members affected with varicose veins are more likely to develop the condition; however there is no scientific evidence to prove or disprove this fact.