Vein Basics

Vein Basics

In order to understand vein disease, you must first understand the purpose of the blood vessels in the body. The heart pumps the blood through the arteries out to the organs and tissues. Because the heart is a very strong pump, blood in the arteries is under very high pressure; like a garden hose. After the blood goes through the organs and tissues, it has very little pressure left to get back to the heart. Veins are the blood vessels that carry the blood back to the heart. Valves in the veins keep the blood flowing in the right direction. When the valves become weakened, the blood actually backs up in the veins and has trouble getting out of the legs and back to the heart.

Venous Insufficiency

One out of five Americans suffer from a disease known as venous insufficiency; a disease that most people have not heard of before. Yet this disease is regarded as one of the most common reasons for lost work and productivity world-wide.

Venous insufficiency is a medical term that means “veins that do not work properly”. Specifically, this is referring to the veins in the legs. This disease can present itself in many different ways. That is why most people with the disease do not even know they have it.

Venous insufficiency is when the blood does not get out of the legs efficiently, putting pressure on the nerves, the veins in the skin, and the skin itself. This results in pain, heaviness, aching, varicose veins, spider veins, skin rashes, skin itching, ulcers, or infections. This can occur in anyone; young or old, obese or thin, men or women, athletes or couch potatoes. The reasons are probably genetic. Most people with venous insufficiency can recall others in their family with similar problems.

How do I find out if I have Venous Insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency can be diagnosed with a simple, noninvasive study called a venous duplex ultrasound. The study generally takes 30 minutes, and is done right here in our office. It uses sound waves to create images of the vein structures and blood flow in your leg, to help us locate the source of your vein problem. You can have your complete evaluation at one of our FREE vein clinics.

Common Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency

-Aching
-Heaviness
-Pain
-Itching
-Swelling
-Throbbing
-Burning
-Numbness and Tingling
-Restlessness in the legs
-Skin rashes of the legs
-Edema
-Ulcers
-Infections of the legs
-Phlebitis