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varicose veins


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Veins that are distended, lengthened, and tortuous. The superficial veins (saphenous veins) of the legs are most commonly affected; other sites include the oesophagus (see oesophageal varices) and testes (varicocele). There is an inherited tendency to varicose veins but obstruction to blood flow is responsible in some cases. Complications including thrombosis, phlebitis, and haemorrhage may occur. Treatment includes elastic support and sclerotherapy, but avulsion (stripping), excision (phlebectomy), or endovenous laser treatment is required in some cases. Medical name: varices.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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