Pathophysiology of Varicose Veins in Minnesota Residents

In Minnesota alone, about 19% of men and 36% of women have varicose veins. It most often occurs in the veins in the legs and thighs. Varicose veins tend to be inherited, and become more prominent as a person ages.

Veins returns blood from the periphery of the body back to the heart and lungs. Unlike arteries with thick walls, most veins are very thin and easily dilatable, so the peripheral venous system also functions as a reservoir to hold extra blood. You could say that the venous system is almost magical in its function when you are told that the entire cardiac output volume of 5–10 L/min is received into periphery venous system for eventual delivery back to the heart and lungs.

There are two types of veins, deep and superficial. The superficial veins and their branches are close to the skin; the deep veins are encased by muscle and connective tissue, which help to pump the blood in the veins and back to the heart. Generally, blood travels from the superficial veins to the deep veins. The communicator or perforator veins connect the superficial veins with the deep veins.

The veins have one-way valves to prevent them from backward flow. The correct functioning of the venous system depends on a complex series of valves. Varicose veins develop slowly and become abnormally thick, twisting or dilated over the time when the frail valves of veins are dysfunctional.

It is not clear what exactly causes the venous valves to work less efficiently. Some theories suggest inherited valve problems or abnormalities of the vein wall, causing some patients to have too few valves or have the valves that do not function properly. The result is that when a person with poorly functioning valves stands up, the valves leak and blood flow actually reverses.

Varicose vein treatment in Minnesota include the sclerotherapy (injection), mini vein stripping, and laser treatment, known as endovenous laser ablation (EVLA); fine spider veins can be treated with an external laser. One Stop Medical Center offers one stop vein care with the above treatment options for the people living in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas.

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