Understanding Your Veins

Our veins play a vital role in the transportation of blood throughout the entire body. Blood helps to transport vital components like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, and blood cells that help your body to fight infection, balance temperature and pH, and maintain homeostasis.

Vein function and structure

Veins are equipped with special one-way valves that help transport blood back to the heart and prevent it from flowing backward. The body’s veins contain around 60 percent of the body’s blood and are important to cardiovascular healthy and other bodily functions. Each vein is made up of three different layers:

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

Types of veins

There are many kinds of veins, all with different functions and responsibilities, that keep the cardiovascular system running smoothly. Some of these veins include:

  • Superficial  veins -“ Veins that are found close to the skin’s surface.
  • Deep veins -“ Veins located deep in the body with corresponding arteries.
  • Communicating veins -“ Also called perforator veins, these veins directly connect superficial and deep veins.
  • Pulmonary veins -“ Veins that deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs back to the heart.
  • Systemic veins -“ Veins that drain the tissues of the body and deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart.

Vein treatment

When veins begin to function improperly, it could be caused by vein disease. Using color doppler ultrasound, your condition can be diagnosed and evaluated for the best treatment possible. Depending on your case, there are a few minimally invasive treatment options available to you like endovenous laser ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy. For more information on these treatments, call Chicago Vein Institute today at (773) 506-7340 to schedule your first consultation.