clinical features

Last reviewed 01/2018

Symptoms commonly associated with varicose veins are:

  • disfigurement:
    • patients are frequently disturbed by the poor cosmetic appearance of their legs
    • both their concern and their symptoms may worsen in the summer when the legs are warm and exposed

  • pain:
    • legs frequently ache, especially after prolonged standing
    • patients often describe a dull, heavy, "burning" sensation that becomes more severe as the day progresses
    • in women, symptoms may worsen in the few days prior to menstruation

  • itching:
    • the skin over the varices may itch
    • may be associated with varicose eczema

  • heaviness

  • worry:
    • patients may present because of concern about possible complications such as ulceration


  • varices appear on standing and disappear when recumbent
  • positive Brodie-Trendelenburg test
  • doppler flow studies identify 'backflow' through incompetent valves