552 WESTFIELD AVENUE, 2ND FLOOR
WESTFIELD, NEW JERSEY 07090
47 ORIENT WAY, SUITE LOWER LEVEL C
RUTHERFORD, NJ 07070
Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. One way flow valves in leg veins help prevent blood from flowing backwards, or refluxing, toward the feet. Superficial veins can weaken and stretch so that valves lose their function. The valves no longer can keep the blood flowing from the legs back to the heart. Gravity causes the blood to pool in your legs leading to symptoms. The high pressure within the veins causes them to further enlarge making the symptoms increase over time.
Varicose veins are rope-like blue vessels under the skin. They are most often branches from the saphenous veins and have enlarged due to the excess pressure in the saphenous veins. Venous ultrasound can identify these malfunctioning valves and diseased saphenous veins and their branches.
Spider veins are small, highly colored red or blue veins easily seen on the surface of the skin. Blue reticular veins lie just below the skin layer. Many spider veins originate from an underlying “feeder veins” or reticular vein. It is most important to identify and treat these feeder veins to prevent reoccurrence and provide long lasting results. The cause of reticular and spider veins is not known.
However, studies show that approximately 25% have disease in the saphenous veins that is not yet apparent and that treating the surface veins without controlling diseased saphenous veins leads to a poor outcome. For this reason, we advise that all patients with superficial cosmetic veins undergo ultrasound scanning to search for disease in the saphenous vein.
Arteries bring blood from the heart to the legs. Veins carry blood back to the heart. When we are standing, blood returns against the force of gravity. Pumping blood to the heart largely depends on calf and thigh muscle contractions and this is why walking helps the circulation. Valves in leg veins normally prevent blood from returning down the leg under gravity. There are network of veins in the leg. Two large superficial veins join the deep veins – the great saphenous vein from the groin and the small saphenous vein from the back of knee. Superficial and deep veins are connected in the thigh and calf through communicating veins called perforator veins. Perforating veins carry blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins of the thigh and calf.
For more information on vein disease,
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