Definition: Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red or flesh coloured. They are often raised above the skin on legs and can look like twisted bulging cords. Veins can become varicose when the vein valves that control blood flow become damaged or diseased, resulting in inefficient blood flow back to the heart.
Function: Although varicose veins may seem like a purely cosmetic issue, it may become more malicious in nature. Chronic Venus Insufficiency (CVI) is a progressive medical condition that can worsen over time and that affects the veins and vessels in the leg that carry oxygen-poor blood back toward the heart. CVI is often preceded by varicose veins. Without treatment, some people with CVI may experience symptoms that can be debilitating and can significantly impact quality of life.