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Give your legs a lift.

I'm living proof that varicose veins bother people under 50. How can I get rid of them?

Beth Edwards, email

You are not alone. It's true that women are most likely to have varicose veins, but more than 30 million Americans of all ages and both genders are affected. Ropy-looking veins pop up when valves in blood vessels don't keep blood flowing back to the heart as efficiently as it should. Good, old-fashioned compression stockings are an excellent, non-invasive solution for many folks, but if these don't work, you'll need to consult a vein specialist. He or she can tell you about minimally invasive options to seal off enlarged veins with heat or injections. The important thing is to take action before they become more than a cosmetic nuisance. "Regardless of the person's age, all untreated varicose veins can potentially progress to chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI, a more serious disease that can lead to hard-to-treat skin damage and ulcers," cautions Julianne Stoughton, M.D., of Massachusetts General. Office-based procedures to treat problem veins can take less than an hour, require little down time, and are generally covered by insurance.

For details and a physician locator, go to saturdayeveningpost.com/veins.

BY Cory SerVaas, M.D. and Wendy Braun, R.N.

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Title Annotation:Medical Mailbox; varicose veins
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:211
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