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What are varicose veins?

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My name is Norman Bein. I'm a board certified general vascular surgeon. I have been in practice for over 35 years. I have specialized in the treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency for the past 10 years with 100% successful results. My offices are in Creve Coeur on Olive Boulevard and in Washington, Missouri on Highway 8. What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are the superficial manifestation of underlying problems. It is important to understand that the varicose veins by themselves do not occur unless there is an underlying incompetence of a superficial vein called the saphenous vein, which is an unnecessary vein no longer used in heart surgery for the most part--and its only job is to go bad. Sort of like your appendix--its only job is to go bad. The "varicose," which comes from Latin meaning "worm-like," are the worm-like structures you see on the skin. They may cause heaviness, aching, tiredness. They may even cause pruritus which means itching. The problem with varicose veins is not the veins themselves but rather the underlying incompetence. Unless the underlying incompetence is dealt with, the problem will recur. Injection of varicose veins is to be condemned as you will spend more time and more money and more drainage procedures in offices that offer this procedure. This is inappropriate management of varicose veins. You must attack with the diagnosis ultrasonographically of underlying incompetence to adequately treat this problem. When you have an underlying saphenous insufficiency causing your varicose veins your insurance will pay for the procedure. It is a mistake to consider that this would be cosmetic. I strongly advise a second opinion for anybody who is told that insurance will not cover this procedure. I see far too many people come into my office who've been told this, the truth of the matter is if you have underlying saphenous sufficiency, you will be covered by your insurance.

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