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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes varicose veins?

    I saw my doctor recently about pain in my legs and he has told me that it is varicose veins. What causes these to occur?
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  • 1




    Dr Domenic Robinson

    Vascular Surgeon

    The arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body and the veins return the blood to the heart. When sitting or standing the veins in the legs are working against gravity and they rely on the contraction of the calf muscles to pump the blood upwards and small valves in the veins to prevent the blood from refluxing downwards. If the veins lose their elasticity and stretch or the valves malfunction, blood refluxes down the leg and pools in the calf resulting in varicose veins and high venous pressures, which in severe cases can damage the skin permanently.

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