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Varicose veins. Varicose veins are veins that have become distended, lengthened and tortuous. They form due to defective valves in the veins of the legs. They commonly arise in the lower limb if the superficial veins (great and small saphenous veins) are incompetent. Blood from the deep veins passes unimpeded into the superficial veins thus distending them. Treatment includes elastic support, stripping (the surgical removal, or avulsion, of the veins) or sclero-therapy, the injection of a vein with an irritant that eventually blocks it, re-routing the blood.
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