Vein Disease and Your Health

The average person probably gives little thought to his or her veins. If you develop vein disease, however, that may change. Metro Vein Centers in Houston has some information for you on the topic of vein disease.

Vein Anatomy

Each beat of the heart sends blood rushing through the arteries. By the time that blood gets to the veins, however, the pressure is much lower. Muscle contractions in the legs supply the pressure to pump the blood against gravity and back to the heart. To prevent the blood from flowing backwards, each vein has many small tissue flaps called valves. These anatomical issues become important when discussing vein disease, as they can have a direct bearing on the condition.

Valve Failure

If you work in an occupation where you spend a lot of time on your legs or have a family history of the condition, you may develop varicose veins. Just growing older can also increase the risk of varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins fail, become weak or don’t close properly. Blood flows backward and pools in the veins, causing them to become distended and twisted. Tiny varicose veins called spider veins may also develop in the legs or face..

Blood Clots

Blood clots can occur in any part of the circulatory system. However, they often occur in the deep veins of the legs and pelvis, especially in people who are inactive. As long as the clot doesn’t block the vein entirely, or break loose and travel though the veins to the lungs, you might not even know it’s there. If it does travel to the lungs, it may cause a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism as it blocks the circulation in the longs. Minor (superficial) blood clots in surface veins may not even need treatment.

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency occurs when the heart becomes too weak to pump blood properly. A heart attack or a condition like rheumatic fever can cause this problem, which is known as heart failure. Since the heart can’t move blood adequately, blood can pool in the veins (even if your valves are fine and you don’t have varicose veins). This condition – called chronic venous insufficiency – can cause leg pain, swelling and leg ulcers, which have the potential to become infected.

Vein Treatment

Treatment for vein disease always depends on the specific problems and the individual patient’s situation. Varicose veins may respond to compression stockings, but if not, we offer procedures like sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy. Venous insufficiency usually requires medical management rather than an invasive procedure. Blood clots may be managed with medications. No matter what the condition, there is usually a solution for vein disease.

Treating vein disease requires an expert, like one of the specialists at Metro Vein Centers. Please contact us for an assessment. We can also answer questions and offer a wide variety of treatment options to residents of the Houston area.