What is Venous Disease?

As your heart beats, it pumps blood through an intricate network of blood vessels, known as the circulatory system. These vessels are hollow, flexible tubes that carry blood to each part of the body.

* Arteries in the body carry oxygen rich blood from the heart.
* Veins in the body carry oxygen deficient blood back to the heart.

Veins are quite flexible, and these hollow tubes are equipped with flaps (valves) inside them. As your muscles contract, these valves open and allow blood to freely move through veins, and as they relax, these valves close, keeping the blood flowing in just one direction through them. Veins increase in size as they get closer to the heart. The inferior Vena Cava is the vein that brings impure blood from legs and abdomen into the heart, and superior Vena Cava brings impure blood from the arms and head to the heart.

If valves in the veins get damaged due to venous disease, they may not close in a proper way, allowing blood to flow in both direction or leak backwards. This is known as venous disease.

What are different types of venous diseases?

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that might occur in any deep vein (including lower extremity-legs and upper extremity-arms). Even though DVT in itself is not life threatening, but blood clots have a potential to break free and may travel through bloodstream, and can get lodged in the blood vessels of the lung. This can even be a life threatening situation.

Blood clots

Blood clots can be found in arms, legs, in the brain, veins of internal organs, or in the lungs.

Phlebitis or superficial venous thrombosis

Phlebitis or superficial venous thrombosis is a blood clot that may develop in a vein that lies close to the surface of your skin. These types of blood clots may not travel to the lungs unless they successfully move to the deep venous system first. However, they can cause intense pain.

Varicose and spider veins

Varicose and spider veins are dilated, abnormal blood vessels caused due to weakening of the blood vessel walls.


Mostly, ulcers are caused due to venous stasis ulcers or static blood flow. They are open sores or wounds that may not heal or keep returning. They are generally located below the knee and are typically found in the inner part of the legs, just above the ankle.

Chronic venous insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is often characterized by chronic leg swelling, pooling of blood, discoloration of skin, increased pressure, increased pigmentation, and leg ulcers, also known as venous stasis ulcer.

What are the treatment options for these venous diseases?

Today there are many surgical and non-surgical treatment options for each of these venous diseases. The ultimate goal of each treatment is to reduce risk of complications and reduce symptoms. Your doctor will recommend the right treatment option for you. Before choosing your treatment, you should discuss potential risks, benefits and side effects with your doctor. You will receive specific guidelines and instructions to help you prepare for your chosen procedure, and also for recovery.