Published in Women's Health Weekly, May 5th, 2005
Normally, 1-way valves in the vein prevent blood from flowing downward with gravity. When the valves in the vein become weak and don't close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, or reflux. Varicose veins are prominent veins that have lost their valve effectiveness and, as a result of chronic dilation under pressure, become elongated, rope-like, bulged and thickened.
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