Before explaining the anatomy of your veins, it’s important to understand a bit about your cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system is an enormous network of blood vessels. This network begins with the pulmonary vein and carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. The oxygenated blood is then transported to every organ, tissue and cell in the body. After, the deoxygenated (oxygen-poor) blood is returned to the heart through the pulmonary artery.
The great vessels
The largest veins in your body are called the great vessels. These include:
- Inferior and superior vena cava. These veins carry deoxygenated blood from the body to the right atrium (side) of the aorta (heart).
- Pulmonary veins. These veins carry blood to the lungs through the left and right pulmonary veins, which restores oxygen to the blood. Afterward, oxygen-rich blood is transferred to the left side of the heart and pumped back through the body.
The anatomy of veins
Arteries and veins have three layers: the adventitia, media and intima. Veins are less muscular than arteries and are often closer to the surface of the skin. Arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood toward the heart. Unlike arteries, most veins have valves that prevent the blood from refluxing, or flowing backward, which can lead to varicose veins. A little more about the three layers:
- The adventitia – The outer layer of the vein that’s made up of loose connective tissue.
- The media – The middle layer that’s made up of layers of smooth muscle and elastic fibers.
- The intima – The inner lining of the vein, which is attached to the underlying connective tissue and directly exposed to the blood.
It’s important to take good care of your venous and cardiovascular systems to ensure your body is getting all of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly.
Northern Illinois Vein Clinic specializes exclusively in vein treatments. Our team uses state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures to resolve varicose veins and spider veins quickly, easily and with very little downtime. Dr. Rimas Gilvydis has a reputation for providing the highest-quality vein care and the best possible outcomes. Contact us at 855-591-1357 today to see if you qualify for a FREE consultation.