Vein disease is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States. By the age of 50, almost 40% of women and 20% of men have leg vein problems. It is estimated that 20 to 25 million Americans have varicose veins.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, “ropey” veins just beneath the skin of the legs. They are the result of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), when the one-way valves in your veins are diseased/damaged and allow blood to flow backwards and pool in your legs. As the blood pools, the vein walls get weak, swell and enlarge to become varicose veins. Varicose veins can be unattractive and painful and can also cause other symptoms like achiness, swelling, skin changes, etc. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins but are smaller and closer to the surface of the skin.

Healthy Vein Valve vs Diseased Vein Valve:
Left: Healthy valves keep blood moving in one direction. Right: Diseased valves cause blood to move in both directions, elevating venous pressure.

How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Diagnosed?

At Alate Vein Center, we diagnose venous insufficiency by conducting a careful evaluation during your examination. We utilize advanced vascular ultrasound technology to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the abnormal blood flow.

What Can Happen if I Don’t Treat My Varicose Veins?

If left untreated, leg pain will worsen with time and prevent you from being able to stand or walk for extended periods, thereby limiting your activity level.

A small cut can take months to heal if there is significant venous insufficiency! If left untreated, varicose veins can spontaneously bleed, resulting in the need for an emergency medical intervention to stop to uncontrollable bleeding. If you have varicose veins, you should not delay treatment and contact Alate Vein Center today.

Woman in Glasses with Man in Background Looking at Computer Monitor


What are the Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency?

While varicose veins are a cosmetic concern for many of our patients, many people with varicose veins also experience aching and pain, which are the most common symptoms of venous insufficiency.

Additional Symptoms:

  • Throbbing, burning, or tingling of the legs
  • Dull achiness and heaviness of the legs
  • Fatigue, cramping, muscle soreness, and swelling of the legs
  • Pain that is worse with prolonged periods of sitting or standing
  • Pain that improves after lying down
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Skin discoloration or ulcerations near the ankle
Elderly Woman

Risk Factors

Are You at Risk for Varicose Veins?

Approximately 40% of the US population has some form of venous insufficiency – that is 2.4 million people in Houston! Approximately 3% (180,000) of people in the Houston Metro Area have symptoms related to their venous disease. Women are four times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. People in occupations that require you to stand for long periods of time are also at increased risk.

Other common risk factors that lead to varicose veins/venous insufficiency:

  • Family history
  • Over age 30
  • Pregnancies
  • Heavy lifting
  • Prolonged standing
  • One or more blood clots in the superficial or deep veins
Young Woman Looking Off Into Distance


If you suffer from varicose veins or venous insufficiency, we have several options for treatment at Alate Vein Center, all aimed to improve your quality of life and get you back on your feet sooner. Our experienced doctors will help you decide on the treatment that’s right for you.

Our treatment options include vein ablations, VenaSeal, sclerotherapy, or phlebectomy. We do all procedures in our office to make it convenient for you. To learn more about each treatment, please see visit our Vein Center treatment page.