Varicose Veins

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Dilatation and congestion of veins is common in many sites.
The most common abnormality of veins is dilatation and congestion with blood. Such abnormal veins are given different names in different sites.
Varicose veins are persistently distended superficial veins in the lower limbs (long and short saphenous veins).
They are the result of incompetence of the valves, which allows the veins to become engorged with blood under the influence of gravity.
A saphenovarix is a localized distension of the superficial saphenous veins in the groin, producing a smooth rounded mass.
Haemorrhoids} (or 'piles') are greatly distended veins of the internal haemorrhoid plexus of submucosal veins in the anal canal and at the anorectal junction. They present as prolapsed mucosa-covered masses, which often protrude through the anal orifice.

Bleeding may follow trauma, and pain may follow from gross protrusion and anal sphincter spasm.
Varicocele is persistent distension of the veins of the pampiniform plexus of veins in the spermatic cord within the scrotum.
All of these conditions in the pelvis and lower limbs can be aggravated by any pelvic or abdominal condition that causes pressure on the veins preventing adequate venous return.
For example, pregnancy is an important and common precipitating factor in the development of varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
Oesophageal varices} and prominent umbilical veins are distended venous channels that develop in portal hypertension secondary to cirrhosis of the liver.
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Revised: 02-11-2014.