What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. These veins usually occur in the legs, but can also can form in other parts of the body. They may be bluish or redish, but can also be flesh-colored. Veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing toward your heart. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell, which can lead to varicose veins.  
When these veins are functioning normally, they’re called tributaries or tributary branches.

  • Heaviness, burning or aching in the legs
  • Swelling or throbbing
  • Itching
  • Tiredness in the legs
  • Discomfort in the legs from prolonged standing
  • Blood clots
  • Spider veins
  • Open sores and skin ulcers
  • Heaviness, burning or aching in the legs
  • Swelling or throbbing
  • Itching
  • Tiredness in the legs
  • Discomfort in the legs from prolonged standing
  • Blood clots
  • Spider veins
  • Open sores and skin ulcers

Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates provides a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art procedures for treating varicose veins. Treatment options include:

Compression Stockings – Compression stocking counteract the abnormal venous pressure in the legs of patients with venous insufficiency.

VNUS® RF AblationVaricose veins often stem from one of the (primary) veins called the Saphenous veins. When the great saphenous or small saphenous veins become incompetent, there tributary branches can become broken and dilated as well, leading to varicose veins. VNUS® RF (radiofrequency) Ablation system (also called the Closure® procedure) is a minimally invasive treatment procedure that uses radiofrequency energy (electricity) to heat, collapse and seal off the targeted primary veins, feeding the varicose veins.

Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy uses a needle to inject a liquid chemical into the vein. The chemical causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This is the most common treatment for spider veins and varicose veins.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy – Phlebectomy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that removes surface varicose veins. There are two basic types of phlebectomy: Ambulatory and Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy (TIPP).