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What are Vein Valves and Why are they so Important?

The valves in your veins ensure they function properly — here’s how they work.

You may know that your veins transport blood to and from your heart, but you may be unaware of the structure of these blood vessels. For example, did you know that your veins have a set of valves that ensure your blood flows properly through them? Here’s a quick and simple overview of your venous valves.

How your valve work

Venous valves are typically made up of two elastic flaps of tissue that alternately open and close. This action allows blood to flow through the valve and into another vein. Blood flows via this network of veins until it reaches the heart and then to the lungs, where it receives oxygen and expels carbon dioxide and other waste. The oxygenated blood then returns to the heart via the pulmonary vein, where it is pumped throughout the body. Leg vein valves play an important role in promoting healthy circulation by ensuring proper blood flow from the legs to the heart. In addition, they effectively counteract gravity and are especially beneficial to individuals who stand or sit for extended periods.

Venous valves collaborate with the musculoskeletal system. Muscles constantly tighten and release, a pattern causing the valves to open and close as needed. A tightening of the muscles causes the valves to open, whereas relaxing muscles cause the valves to close.

The Danger of Backflow

While blood should always flow throughout your body, valves also prevent it from flowing improperly. The regular opening and closing of valves prevent backflow or blood that flows in the wrong direction. Backflow causes blood to pool in the veins, potentially damaging them. Many common venous disorders are caused by the accumulation of blood in the veins.

Varicose Veins

Healthy venous valves open and close as needed; however, various conditions can block or restrict them. Varicose veins are the most common of these disorders.

Varicose veins are a type of chronic venous insufficiency or a defect in the veins that prevent blood from flowing normally. These dilated blood vessels cause moderate to severe pain and visible swelling and prevent blood from flowing properly. While it isn’t always the cause of malfunctioning venous valves, the inflammation associated with them can make them worse.

While varicose veins can cause trouble on your venous valves, they are a simple condition to treat. Anything from dietary modifications to wearing compression garments can provide significant relief. However, regardless of severity, they should be treated as quickly as possible since untreated cases could promote the formation of blood clots that detach and lodge elsewhere in the circulatory system.

Many of our patients have dealt with varicose veins, swelling, itching, and pain for years. It doesn’t have to be that way. With new advances in our vein treatments, you can lead a better life and improve your quality of life.

t’s easy to forget how debilitating varicose veins can be. Swelling and pain make it difficult to get around, and that’s not even what concerns us the most— spider veins can break open and begin bleeding. That bleeding (and blood loss) can in itself cause further discomfort. And other symptoms of varicose vein disease include itching, discoloration, and numbness. 

The good news is that your venous issues can be improved significantly. There are treatments available for your condition that can impact your quality of life, whether you want to prevent a serious complication or are dealing with one already.

At Well & You Vein and Vascular, Dr. Murthy provides the latest, most advanced vein treatments to maintain or improve your vein health. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Murthy now for expert vein care, where the aim is to help you understand your vein problems, recommend the most effective treatment option, and then stand by your side through every step of the procedure.

Call our office today at (904) 895-5400‬‬. It would be our privilege to serve you.