Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from your organs back to the heart. In the legs, blood travels from the feet back to the heart against gravity. The leg contains two sets of veins, the deep veins (responsible for 70% of blood flow back to the heart) and the superficial veins that lie just under the skin.
Along with calf muscle contraction, valves in the veins prevent blood from falling back to the feet in the standing position. If the valves are incompetent, blood collects in the veins in the lower legs. The pressure of this blood distends the veins over time making them bulge and become tortuous. When this happens to veins in the superficial system we refer to these as varicose veins.
Varicose veins are very common, one in five people can be affected. As long as the deep veins are patent and functioning well, then it is very safe to remove the superficial varicose veins with no long term effects.