Arteries and veins are the vessels that transport blood to and from various parts of the body. Arteries are muscular, thick vessels that carry blood away from the heart and veins are the thinner vessels that return blood to the heart. Blood returning to the heart from the legs has to flow against gravity. Between heartbeats, the veins have to support the weight of the blood. To help with this, the veins have valves that open and close to keep blood flow moving in one direction and decrease venous pressure. If the valves fail, due to disease or damage, blood is pulled by gravity down the leg in reverse direction and can pool. The weight of the blood puts excessive pressure on the veins, causing them to elongate and dilate. As they enlarge, they become visible on the legs as varicose veins, or spider veins. This is known as chronic venous insufficiency or vein disease.
Millions of people have some form of vein disease. Many factors contribute to chronic vein disease and the development of varicose veins including:
Get Care Now
Get care for low-level urgent conditions through a video chat with a provider, 24/7, on your computer or mobile device.Learn More.
View wait times and save your place in line at an Intermountain InstaCare location near you.
If this is an emergency please go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based, not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals (includes "virtual" hospital), a Medical Group with more than 2,400 physicians and advanced practice clinicians at about 160 clinics, a health plans division called SelectHealth, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and efficient healthcare delivery.
Still not finding what you are looking for?
Copyright ©2021, Intermountain Healthcare, All rights reserved.