Understanding Vein Disease

How Veins Work

A vein is a blood vessel that carries blood from the body’s organs back to the heart. They are part of the circulatory system containing your heart, arteries, and veins. Veins have thinner walls than arteries and operate at lower pressures.

Healthy leg veins transport your blood up the leg with the assistance of valves that open and close to direct the return of blood back to the heart.

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What Causes Vein Disease to Develop?

When a valve fails to function as designed it is known as venous insufficiency. Sometimes the valves become damaged or diseased causing blood to pool in your legs (called stasis) and/or flow backwards (called reflux). This can lead to symptoms such as pain, aching, throbbing, swelling, heaviness, fatigue, skin changes and open skin sores, itching, cramping, restlessness and varicose veins. If vein disease is left untreated, symptoms can worsen over time and lead to chronic venous insufficiency.

Not a vein problem?

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