Several factors cause increased venous pressure and venous stasis that result in dilation and stretching of the vessel wall. Increased venous pressure results from being erect, which shifts the full weight of the venous column of blood to the legs. Prolonged standing increases venous pressure because leg muscle use is less; therefore, blood return to the heart is decreased.

Heavy lifting, genetic factors, obesity, thrombophlebitis, pregnancy, trauma, abdominal tumors, congenital or acquired arteriovenous fistulae, and congenital venous malformations are among the causes of varicose veins. Chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis can cause varicosi-ties in the rectum, abdomen, and esophagus.

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