Veins and Arteries – What’s the Difference?

Although human anatomy may be a fascinating area to study, not everyone needs or wants to learn the total structure and function of the human body in order to understand more about their varicose veins. However, it may be helpful to have some understanding of the difference between veins and arteries.

Veins and arteries are connected to each other as part of the blood circulatory system. Arteries move oxygenated blood away from the heart to the rest of the body, while veins return the deoxygenated blood back to the heart again.

In addition to performing different functions, veins and arteries also have differences in their structure. Arteries are muscular and are made to withstand the high pressure of the heart’s pump. Whereas veins are soft and have little valves that help to prevent blood from going backward or pooling. In healthy bodies, when the surrounding muscles contract, the veins are compressed and the blood is pushed back towards the heart. The valve then closes so the blood doesn’t slip backward.

Therefore, inactivity can cause swelling in the legs. When calf muscles are not compressing the veins, the blood tends to pool in the legs. The higher pressure causes the water portion of the blood to leak out of the veins and to bloat the skin and surrounding tissues. People with varicose veins or spider veins typically have faulty valve problems, which allows pressure to build and disfigure the vein walls, blood to pool, and bloating to occur in the surrounding tissues.

For those who are considering treating their varicose veins with varicose vein surgery, laser surgery can gently relieve the vein disfigurement, varicose veins bleeding, blood pooling and bloated tissues. With laser surgery for varicose veins, most people can resume their daily activities immediately after treatment. Additionally, most major health insurance carriers provide coverage for the treatment of vein disease and venous insufficiency when medically necessary.

If you would like more information regarding your veins and arteries and how laser surgery for varicose veins can help you, please contact the Goldman Vein Institute today at one of our two convenient locations:

Jupiter 561-625-9853 or Wellington 561-790-4550 or visit us at

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