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Vein Disorders - Introduction
The leg contains two vein systems that provide circulation to the lower extremities. These are called the deep system and the superficial system.

The Deep Venous System
Veins in the deep system are in close proximity to the bone and are surrounded by the leg muscles.

The Superficial Venous System
The superficial veins are above the muscle, located in the fat tissue that lies beneath the skin. These are the veins that may sometimes be visible. The two systems meet at two junctions: the groin and behind the knee. There is also a smaller system of veins where the two systems meet. These are called perforators.

When blood travels downward through the legs, gravity ensures that the blood flows smoothly. The body doesn't have this benefit on the way back up to the heart, so the leg has an alternative method of circulating blood. The combination of the deep and superficial systems, the leg muscles, and the various valves throughout the lower venous system form a pumping reflex secondary to the heart. The entire mechanism is often referred to as the second heart.

The Second Heart and Varicose & Spider Veins
The second heart is responsible for pushing deoxygenated blood back up to the heart and lungs, for recirculation throughout the body. The muscles in the lower leg and calf contract to pump the blood back up, while the valves open and close opposing the muscle contractions to ensure there is no backflow of blood back into the leg.

Failure of the Lower Circulatory System
When these valves become defective, the second heart system ceases to work properly. Blood backflows into the veins which causes the blood to pool. The pressure created from this overflow of blood in the veins causes the superficial veins to bulge. Depending on the severity of the problem, this leads to various vascular diseases, including varicose veins and spider veins.
More than 80 million people in the United States suffer from venous disorders – 40 million suffer from varicose veins.

Veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing in the proper direction, from the lower extremities back to the heart. If these valves malfunction, blood can flow backwards and pool in the vein, causing it to stretch and damage other healthy valves.

These enlarged blood vessels fall into three groups: varicose veins, reticular veins, and spider veins (telangiectasias). Spider veins are visible on the surface of the skin as red, blue or purple lines. Varicose veins are larger and deeper and often look like bluish bumps under the skin.
Varicose Veins
  • Varicose veins are swollen, dark blue or purple blood vessels. They often look like twisted cords, and usually appear on the calves, inside of the legs, and ankles.
  • Symptoms associated with varicose veins include pain, heaviness, fatigue, burning, swelling, cramping, throbbing and restlessness.
Reticular Veins
  • Reticular veins are dilated, dark blue or purple blood vessels, smaller in diameter than varicose veins. Symptoms often associated with reticular veins are burning, aching and itching.
Spider Veins (Telangiectasias)
  • Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are small, thin, blood vessels visible beneath the skin. They appear most commonly on the face, thighs, and feet, and may look like a series of lines, tree branches, or a spider- or web-like shape with a dark center.
  • Although spider veins are usually considered only a cosmetic problem, spider veins can show symptoms of a burning sensation or a dull, throbbing pain, and can lead to varicose veins and other serious complications.
If left Untreated...
Varicose veins are a progressive disease. Spider veins very often occur in conjunction with varicose veins. You can experience pain when standing or walking, develop sores on or near a varicose vein, and your feet and ankles may swell.

If left untreated, spider and varicose veins can cause, blood clots, phlebitis, venous statis ulcers, skin discoloration, lipodermatosclerosis, and atrophie blanche.
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(305) 331.7172
(305) 331.7172 - 3850 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 201, FL 33021 - info@veinsonlyveins.com