Chronic Venous Disease: Varicose Veins And Venous Insufficiency
There are three types of veins in the legs (Eberhardt 2014; Wittens 2015):
- Superficial veins are located just beneath the skin, above layers of connective tissue and muscle. The major superficial veins in the legs are the great saphenous vein and the small saphenous vein.
- Deep veins that run along the main arteries of the legs, underneath the deep layer of muscle and connective tissue.
- Perforator veins cross through the deep muscle layer in the legs to connect the superficial veins to the deep venous system.
The contraction of calf muscles during walking pushes blood upward against gravity through the deep veins in the legs toward the heart. One-way valves in leg veins channel blood toward the heart and close to prevent backward blood flow down the legs (Fort 2017a; NIH 2014a).