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Varicose veins

What is a varicose vein?

Varicose veins are a pathological dilatation of the peripheral saphenous veins located at the level of the lower limbs. They appear like cords bunched under the skin of the legs.


The organs of the body are irrigated with blood, carrying oxygen and nutrients essential for their proper functioning. The arteries carry the blood to the organs, while the veins bring the blood back to the heart.


The veins of the lower limbs are equipped with valves that prevent the blood from flowing downward, to counteract the effect of gravity. The valves open and close to facilitate the rise of blood. When the valves malfunction or the veins are dilated (by the action of progesterone during pregnancy, for example), the opening thus created allows blood to flow back down into the defective section of the vein. This one is deformed, and a varix appears.



Several factors influence the appearance of varicose veins. These are age, sex, genetics, pregnancy, weight (overweight, obesity), sedentary behavior (long stations while standing or sitting).

Venous insufficiency in the lower limbs

Proceed to this page for an introduction.

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