I am concerned I may have large varicose veins that have not surfaced

Along my inner right thigh there is a palpable long segment of something that is pretty defined, runs the length of just above my knee to my upper inner thigh. Could this be a ligament or a very large varicose vein that hasn't surfaced? I do not have any spider or varicose veins at all. I am very active with yoga and cardio activity but on a 6-week hiatus recovering from surgery. I am 42 YO 5'5", 125 LBS (not sure if that is relevant).

Doctor Answers 5

Prominent vein along leg

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Sometimes folks who are thinner or who have thin skin (or just are made this way) can have a cord-like prominence on their leg. This is likely a vein that is responsible for taking blood back up to the heart. You have several layers of veins in the body. The deep veins lie in between your muscles and carry 90% of the blood back up to the heart. The next layer lie above the muscle and are close up to the skin (called the superficial system). The last layer are the "skin veins" that when the deep or superficial veins do not work properly, can be seen as spider veins or bulging veins on the skin. A vein that is seen on the skin and does not bulge does not mean it is trying to bulge. However, it may be worth it to get a screening to check your veins to make sure they are working properly. This is done with an ultrasound. Most offices offer screenings to assess venous health. It may not be a bad idea to try compression stockings/socks during long periods of standing, sitting or traveling. They do not prevent anything but can maintain your legs!

Lima Phlebologist

Great saphenous vein with likely reflux

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It would be most appropriate to get a venous Doppler ultrasound as this description fits that of a refluxing great saphenous vein.


H aramanoukian MD FACS

certified by ABVLM as a vein specialist

Examining the legs for varicose veins in Los Angeles

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I would begin with a combination of veni lite exam and ultrasound to determine whether this truly is a varicose vein underneath the skin. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

#VaricoseVeins vs. Ligaments

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The best way to determine if you are developing deep varicose veins is with a duplex ultrasound. This type of imaging study would confirm it is a vein you are feeling vs. another structure like a ligament. There are complications that can happen after surgery such as blood clots. These can result in dilated and sometimes tender vessels in the legs.

Adam J. Mamelak, MD
Austin Dermatologic Surgeon

Saphenous vein.

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You seem to be describing the great saphenous vein which runs along the medial leg from the groin to the ankle. There are no tendons in this area that do this.  If you recently had surgery and are feeling this vein, this could be a clot in the vein (superficial phlebitis).  The way to make the diagnosis would be to have a venous duplex ultrasound.  See a vein specialist.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.