Nov 3, 2017


Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: What are varicose veins, and should you be concerned if you have them? Dr. Claire Griffin is a vascular surgeon. So what are varicose veins? What causes them?

What are Varicose Veins?

Dr. Griffin: So veins in general return blood to our heart, and when they become inefficient or incompetent at that job, blood backs up inside the veins and this leads to an increase in pressure which, over time, causes the bulging, snake-like veins that stand out from the surface of the leg.

Interviewer: And should people be concerned when that happens?

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?

Dr. Griffin: Well, varicose veins can range from unsightly and painless to painful and quite symptomatic, with symptoms ranging from leg heaviness and aching to bleeding and open wounds.

Interviewer: And when should somebody see their doctor?

Dr. Griffin: So if your varicose veins are causing symptoms, the next step is to ask your primary care doctor to order an ultrasound. This will further diagnose the severity of the vein incompetence and help target the next best treatment.

Announcer: To find out more about this and other health and wellness topics, visit

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