The Basics on Veins

Your body is made up of many different systems that help it to function properly. The circulatory system is one of those intricate systems. Within the circulatory system are arteries and veins.

The arterial system pumps blood throughout the body, transporting nutrients, hormones, carbon dioxide, oxygen and blood cells to the organs and other tissues. The movement of these substances play a vital role in your body’s ability to fight diseases, stabilize temperature and pH, and maintain homeostasis. The venous system, made up of veins, is responsible for returning the nutrient-depleted blood to the heart.

Vein functions

Inside the elastic tubes we know as veins are special valves that move the blood in a one-way direction to help prevent the blood from flowing backward. With around 60 percent of the body’s blood flowing through your veins, the veins help many systems that are crucial to cardiovascular health and other functions of the body.

Structure of veins

Almost all veins contain valves that prevent the reverse flow of blood. In addition, each vein is made up of three layers:

  • A thick, outer layer made up of connective tissue
  • A middle layer containing bands of smooth muscle
  • An interior layer of membranous tissue lined with endothelial cells

Types of veins

There are many types of veins, all with different characteristics and purposes. Some of them include:

Superficial veins – Superficial veins reside close to the surface of the body.

Deep veins – Deep veins are found deeper in the body and have corresponding arteries.

Communicating veins – Communicating veins (or perforator veins) are veins that directly connect superficial veins to deep veins.

Pulmonary veins – Pulmonary veins are a set of veins that deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart.

Systemic veins – Systemic veins drain the tissues of the body and deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart.

Venous disorders

  • Deep vein thrombosis – Deep vein thrombosis is when a blood clot develops within a deep vein. This can occur after surgery or prolonged hospitalization or as a result of immobility or the side effects of taking oral contraceptive pills.
  • Venous insufficiency – Venous insufficiency occurs when the veins become weakened or damaged, which can result in pooling blood within the veins. This can cause varicose veins and spider veins. It is caused by many factors, including pregnancy, age or prolonged sitting or standing.

Vein treatment

When it comes to vein disease, it’s important to know your options for treatment. If gone untreated, venous insufficiency will progress and become extremely painful, and deep vein thrombosis can even be life threatening. It’s important to have any potential vein issues evaluated and diagnosed by a vein specialist. Call our team at Total Vein Care today at (225) 245-3540 to schedule your next appointment.

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