Varicose Veins


Venous System - Varicose Veins
Click for larger diagram

The Venous System
The venous system in your legs regulates bloodflow through a complex network of superficial veins, deep veins and perforator veins.

Superficial Veins are smaller veins close to the skin’s surface.

Deep Veins are larger veins deep in the leg.

Perforator Veins connect the Superficial Veins to the Deep Veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose Vein Disease is a condition of the venous system, affecting as many as 30% of women and 15% of men.  Healthy veins have one-way valves that open and close to assist the return of blood to the heart.  If the vein walls weaken, the valves fail and pressure builds. This produces the large ‘baggy’ veins called “saccular varicose veins.

Varicose Veins Illustrated

Do I have Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are often visually obvious as bulging bluish bumpy veins just beneath the skin surface. In the absence of visual evidence, symptoms include:

  • Leg heaviness and fatigue
  • Leg, Calf and Ankle Pain
  • Swollen limbs
  • Dry, itchy or flaky rash around the lower calf and ankles.

If left untreated, varicose veins may result in painful ulcers in the lower leg/ankle and significant skin discoloration. 

Spider Veins appear as bluish threads near the skin surface.

Healthy Vein

Healthy Vein Valves
& Correct Blood Flow

Damaged Varicose Vein

Damaged Vein Valve
& Incorrect Blood Flow

Some factors that may contribute to the
development of varicose and spider veins:




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