The Varicose Veins

P1080007 Varicose vein refers to any vein that is elongated, dilated, tortuous and knotted in appearance. (Etymology: Latin, varicosus: full of dilated veins, from varic-, varix means dilated vein ; first known use: circa 1730) . The father of medicine, Hippocrates (430 BC), seeing the grape-like appearance of the veins of legs, called it Varicose Vein, as ‘Varicose’ is a Greek word and the  meaning is ‘Grapes’. But earlier, in 3500 BC, the Egyptians, seeing the appearance of veins as ‘twisted snake’ described this disease as ‘serpentine windings’ which  appeared more apt as regards the shape, appearance and behavior.

The varicose veins include a number of diseases, other than those appearing on the lower limbs (legs).

1. Piles (Hemorrhoids): When it appears near the ano-rectal region, it is called ‘piles’, and is the commonest cause of anal bleeding.
2. Esophageal varices: The veins around the junction of the esophagus and stomach become grossly swollen and may bleed. This may prove fatal as well. This usually happens in Chronic Liver Disease. Alcoholism is one of the common causes.
3. Vaginal varices: When it occurs in the vagina especially during pregnancy, this  produces severe bleeding, during and after delivery of  baby and may turn fatal.
4. Vesical piles: In disease of prostate gland in male, it can produce bleeding along the urine (Hematuria).
5. Varicocele: Twisted  dilated veins along the spermatic cord and appearing like a bag of round worms in the scrotum is called as Varicocele. This may produce sub-fertility and dragging pain the scrotum.
6. Congenital Venous Malformations : This can appear anywhere  in the body from head to foot. This can be within the body or outside, since birth.