Phlebology (pronounced fle-bol-uh-jee) involves the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders associated with veins and venous health.

A phlebologist, therefore, is a doctor specializing in these conditions. If you are considering consulting a board-certified physician to evaluate your potential venous disorder, you may want to become aware of some of the terminology associated with phlebology.

Below are a few of the most commonly used terms used to describe veins and venous conditions in the study of Phlebology:

Deep vs Superficial Veins

Veins aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. there are different veins in the body for different jobs.

A deep leg vein is located deep within the tissue in the leg and thigh, while superficial veins are located much closer to the skin above the tissue covering the leg muscles. Superficial veins can be seen easily under the skin. The veins in the hands are a good example of this.

Superficial veins are not paired with the arteries, while deep veins are. Deep veins typically have an artery close by that shares their name.

The superficial veins and important for body temperature regulation – especially cooling. When the body overheats, blood is taken from the deep veins and given more to the superficial veins. That facilitates the transfer of heat to the surrounding area.

Since they carry less blood, superficial veins are considered less important than the deep veins. They can be removed in some cases through a process called vein stripping, which is a treatment to remove varicose veins.

A perforating vein is a vessel that connects a superficial vein to a deep vein.

Telangiectasia (Spider veins)

Telangiectasia is a technical medical term used to describe spider veins – which are tiny blue or red blood vessels resemble tiny branches or spider webs under the skin.

They are not a good thing, but they are not always dangerous, either. If they are not causing you pain, then they can usually be left alone.

Most of the time, patients choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons.

One potential danger when left untreated, however, is the development of varicose veins. Spider veins can lead to varicose veins and other complications.

Varicose veins

A varicose vein is a bulging, protruding vein that often resembles twisted cords.

Varicose veins are usually found between the knee and ankle and are caused by the malfunctioning of valves within the veins. Problems with the valves allow blood to leak backward (away from the heart), resulting in the pooling of blood in the vein.

They are often removed for cosmetic reasons, like spider veins, but can have medical complications as well.

Competent vs Incompetent Veins

Competent veins are healthy veins that perform their function properly. They keep blood flowing in the correct direction without any leakage, blockage, or blood backflow issues.

“they promote blood flow in its proper direction back to the heart.”

Incompetent veins allow blood to flow backward due to malfunctions in the valves. This backward flow is often called reflux. It can cause pain and needs to be assessed by a doctor.

Get in touch with us for vein consultations if needed

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Chicago Vein Institute is a practice solely dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of vein diseases. The experts at CVI perform the latest and most effective treatments for painful varicose veins, spider veins, and other vein-related disorders. CVI offers minimally invasive treatment options, including Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), Ambulatory Phlebectomy, Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy, Surface Sclerotherapy, Elastic Compression Stockings and wound care for venous ulcers, performing more than 11,000 vein-related procedures annually. Same-Day appointments and multi-lingual team members standing by to assist.