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Varicose veins causes

Varicose veins are dilated veins. According to the French National Authority for Health (HAS), this condition affects 70% of the adult population and 30% of cases require medical or surgical treatment.

Location of varicose veins

Most commonly, varicose veins are found in the legs: either inside the calf (varicose internal saphenous vein) or to the rear and exterior of the calf (varicose external saphenous vein).

They can, however, also appear on the vulva (vulval or perineal varicose veins), on the anus (hemorrhoidal varicose veins) or on the scrotum (varicocele). Varicose veins can also be found on the hands, the feet (varicose plantar veins), the face and the chest.


Our aims for surgery on varicose veins are always the same, wherever they are located: it should be mini-invasive, cosmetic surgery, performed under local anesthetic.

Causes of varicose veins

The purpose of veins is to carry blood back from the feet to the heart. If the veins can no longer carry out this role, the blood falls back into the feet, dilating the veins and causing varicose veins.


Reflux then begins to occur from points of leakage. A point of leakage is where a link opens up between deep veins and those on the surface. This “turns on a tap”, allowing through the blood that is responsible for the dilation of varicose veins.


This point of leakage or “tap” can be located in the groin (the saphenous arch) or in the perforating veins (veins that travel through the muscle and lead from deep veins to surface veins). These perforating veins can be found in a number of locations from the groin to the feet.


It is this failure of the “anti-reflux” valves that leads to the reflux - or incontinence – causing vein dilation and thus varicose veins.

Read on: Varicose veins complications

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