How do healthy veins function?

Healthy veins are responsible for the circulation of blood throughout the body

Healthy arteries and veins transport blood in a single direction:

  • Arteries deliver oxygenated blood from the heart to various parts of our body
  • Veins return this blood from our extremities to the heart

The contraction of calf muscles in our legs pump blood against the push of gravity upwards towards the heart, with valves in the leg veins preventing the blood from flowing back towards the feet.  Healthy veins have the ability to retain their integrity without retaining blood.

There are two systems of veins present within our body:

  1. Deep veins are located within the muscles and are responsible for maintaining healthy circulation to the heart.
  2. Superficial veins are present near the surface of the skin and are connected to deep veins through small connections called perforating veins. Valves within the perforating veins prevent the flow of blood back into the superficial veins. Saphenous veins are the primary superficial veins in the legs.

Vein Facts