Vein Disease

St. Louis Vein Clinic
St. Louis Vein Experts - Our Clinic

What is Vein Disease

Today, more than 25 million Americans are faced with venous disease. This disease is caused by the weakening or damage of the vein walls. As background, the human circulatory system consists of arteries and veins. Veins are tubes that have one-way valves which work to pump blood back up to the heart, while arteries take oxygen-rich blood away from the heart. Muscle contractions squeeze blood forward through the veins, but when muscles relax, the valves shut to prevent blood from flowing backwards.

In an abnormal circulatory system, the blood leaks back to the lower lying vein segments through weakened vein valves, so the valves are unable to direct blood flow upwards against gravity,to the heart. A reflux of blood in a backwards direction causes the blood to pool and may lead to a variety of symptoms and be a sign of long-standing venous disease, which includes varicose and spider veins, reticular veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots, superficial phlebitis, swelling, skin discoloration and leg ulcers or chronic venous insufficiency. Although heredity is one of the single most important causes of venous disease, other factors including pregnancy (especially multiple pregnancies), age, gender, obesity, lack of exercise, and jobs requiring long periods of standing or sitting, injuries can also influence vein disease.

Symptoms and signs of Venous Disease
Most common symptoms associated with venous disease are:

  • Aching/Pain in legs
  • Bleeding from legs
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Itching/Burning
  • Leg cramping
  • Leg restlessness
  • Spider veins
  • Swelling
  • Varicose veins
  • Leg ulcers