Understanding the Different Types of Varicose Veins

Understanding Different

and Health

Varicose veins are a condition affecting thousands, leaving those afflicted with unsightly, bulging leg veins. Treatment to get rid of the unsightly varicose veins can involve painful and expensive surgery or treatments such as sclerotherapy, ballooning and laser treatments. Understanding the different types of varicose veins and the health risks associated with them, is an important step in finding the best treatment for your condition.

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Types of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins come in three main types: saphenous, reticular and pelvic varicose veins.

  • Saphenous varicose veins are the most common type and originate in the lower ankle and run up the inside of the calf. The saphenous vein is the longest vein in the human body.
  • Reticular varicose veins are smaller and develop more commonly in the inner thigh and behind the knee.
  • Pelvic varicose veins are located in the pelvic area and affect males and females differently.

Health Risks Associated with Varicose Veins

Although varicose veins aren’t life threatening, they can lead to complications such as deep vein thrombosis, leg ulcers, pain, blood clots and eczema. They can also cause discomfort including leg swelling, itchy skin and fatigue.

Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

The most common treatments for varicose veins are sclerotherapy, laser treatments and ballooning. All of these treatments narrow or shut off the affected vein, causing it to reabsorb and collapse, redirecting blood to other healthy veins.


Varicose veins are a condition that affects many, but with the right treatment and understanding of the different types it is possible to rid yourself of this unsightly condition. Understanding the health risks associated with varicose veins is also important in deciding which treatment is right for you. Speak with your doctor to determine a course of action that will work to eliminate your varicose veins.