What are Varicose Veins?

What are Varicose Veins?

Steven Kim, MD Blog

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Varicose veins are extremely common, affecting roughly 1 in 5 adults in the United States. They are twisted, rope-like veins that typically appear in the legs. Some people’s varicose veins are primarily a cosmetic concern, while others suffer from aching pain.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are caused by a disease known as superficial venous insufficiency. When veins function normally, tiny one-way valves open to allow blood flow toward the heart and close to prevent backflow. In those with venous insufficiency, the valves do not operate properly, allowing blood to pool in the veins. This results in increased pressure, pain, and bulging in the veins.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Besides visually bulging veins, many patients report aching or cramping, heaviness in the legs, tingling or burning, swelling, throbbing, and tenderness to the touch. If you do not seek treatment, the disease may progress, causing more serious complications such as:

  •         Inflammation
  •         DVT blood clots
  •         Hyperpigmentation
  •         Skin ulcers
  •         Bleeding


Traditional vein-stripping treatments are highly invasive and require a great deal of healing time. Modern non-surgical laser treatment, though, can be performed in under an hour with minimal downtime and little to no scarring.

We will map out the vein using ultrasound, and then numb the area with a local anesthetic. We will insert a thin laser fiber and use its energy to seal the problematic vein. We encourage you to start walking immediately after the procedure and to resume your normal activities right away. You may experience mild soreness and bruising for up to 5 days, which responds well to non-aspirin over-the-counter pain relievers. You can resume vigorous physical activity after 1 to 2 weeks, as directed by your physician.

Varicose veins are unattractive at best, and they can cause physical symptoms that range from annoying to potentially dangerous. While traditional treatment methods are invasive and require significant healing, modern laser treatment allows you to resume your life in less than an hour. With such an easy treatment option, it only makes sense to address  this common yet annoying condition before it may become a serious issue. Talk to your doctor to find out if laser treatment for varicose veins is right for you.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are ready for a new, fully integrated approach to health and wellness, contact CORE Medical & Wellness today at 888-521-0688 to learn more or schedule your appointment!

Dr. Steven Kim received his B.A. in biochemistry from Cornell University, then completed his M.S. from Columbia University and his M.D. from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Kim specializes in the treatment of varicose veins and vein disease. Read his full bio here.