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    Vein Diseases

    What is Vein Disease?

    Veins are the blood vessels that return blood to the heart from the body. To overcome the force of gravity, inside the veins are one-way valves which open to allow blood flow to the heart, and close to prevent “reflux” of blood back to the body. When these valves fail to function, or if the vein is damaged so the valves do not completely close, blood can begin to pool in the vein and cause a variety of vein complications.

    Vein Problems Related to Varicose Veins

    A number of vein problems are related to varicose veins, such as telangiectasias (tel-AN-juh-ek-TA-ze-uhs), spider veins, varicoceles (VAR-i-ko-seals), and other vein problems.

    Telangiectasias

    Telangiectasias are small clusters of blood vessels. They’re usually found on the upper body, including the face.

    These blood vessels appear red. They may form during pregnancy and often are found in people who have certain genetic disorders, viral infections, or other medical conditions, such as liver disease.

    Because telangiectasias can be a sign of a more serious condition, see your doctor if you think you have them.

    Spider Veins

    Spider veins are a smaller version of varicose veins and a less serious type of telangiectasias. Spider veins involve the capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in the body.

    Spider veins often show up on the legs and face. They usually look like a spider web or tree branch and can be red or blue. They usually aren’t a medical concern.

    Varicoceles

    Varicoceles are varicose veins in the scrotum (the skin over the testicles). Varicoceles may be linked to male infertility. If you think you have varicoceles, see your doctor.

    Other Related Vein Problems

    Other types of varicose veins include venous lakes, reticular veins, and hemorrhoids. Venous lakes are varicose veins that appear on the face and neck.

    Reticular veins are flat blue veins often seen behind the knees. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in and around the anus.

     

    *Information Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute