Vascular Associates of Northern Virginia

Timely and considerate care of the arterial and venous systems.

Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency (Part 1)

Anatomy of Veins

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from different parts of the body back to the heart.  There are different types of veins in our bodies.

Deep Veins act as the main veins which blood travels through going back to the heart.  For the most part, these veins travel side by side with arteries and carry the same name as the artery accompanying the vein.

Superficial Veins on the other hand, act like accessory veins.  They assist the deep veins in returning the blood back to the heart.  As the their name indicates, they are more superficial.  Another difference is that they do not have arteries accompanying them.

Perforator Veins are veins connecting the superficial veins with the deep veins.  Normally, they allow blood to flow in one direction from the superficial veins to the deep veins.  Valves maintain this one direction flow.

Varicose Veins

These are veins that bulge out from under the skin.  In mild cases, you can barely notice them.  As the issue worsens they become more visible taking the shape of a wiggly rope or a snake under the skin.  Varicose veins are different than spider veins, they are much larger.

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is basically the inability of the veins to carry blood back to the heart properly.  Even though venous insufficiency could happen in any vein, it is usually referred to veins in the legs.

Click here for part 2

Note: This blog post is intended for information only.  It is not meant to replace a professional medical opinion.  If you are suspecting any medical problems, please seek professional medical attention.  If you are having an emergency, please call 911.

Vascular Associates of Northern Virginia, P.C.

Our Vascular Surgeons:
Robert S. Podolsky, M.D.

Avisesh Sahgal, M.D.



Daigle, R. J., & Daigle, R. J. (2011). Techniques in noninvasive vascular diagnosis: An encyclopedia of vascular testing (3rd ed.). Littleton, CO: Summer Pub.

Size, G. P., Lozanski, L., & Russo, T. (2013). Inside Ultrasound Vascular Reference Guide. Pearce, AZ: Inside Ultrasound, Inc.

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