Now offering online appointment scheduling! The "Request an Appointment" button is for scheduling only. Please contact our office directly for any medical questions at 860-443-3202.

What is the Difference between Superficial Veins and Deep Veins?

Blood travels through our bodies in two different ways: through our arteries or veins. The main difference between a vein and an artery is their function. Arteries transport blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Veins transport blood back up from the legs to the heart.

Overall, your veins are divided into four main categories: deep veins, superficial veins, pulmonary veins, and systemic veins. The differences between deep and superficial veins can often be confusing to understand.

What are Superficial Veins?

A superficial vein is close to your body’s surface and is often visible to the eye. Superficial veins may appear when lifting heavy weights or during a period of intense strength training. The superficial vessels are responsible for carrying the blood from the tissues closer to the skin’s surface to the deep veins. Later on, the deep veins push the blood back toward the heart.

There are two kinds of superficial veins located in the lower extremities.

Great Saphenous Vein (GSV) – The GSV is the large superficial vein of the leg and the longest vein in the entire body. It can be found along the length of the lower limb, returning blood from the thigh, calf, and foot to the deep femoral vein at the femoral triangle. The femoral triangle is located in the upper thigh.

Lesser Saphenous Vein – When compared to the GSV, the lesser saphenous vein is much smaller in size. This vein connects and transports blood to the lateral surface of the leg as well as the popliteal vein.

In addition, the superficial veins also manage and monitor your body’s temperature. If your body becomes too hot, the deep veins pushes blood to the superficial veins in order to help the process of transferring or displacing the heat to other areas of the body.

Superficial venous insufficiency

Put simply, superficial venous conditions in the leg are disabling, costly, and, sadly, quite common. If left untreated, this form of venous incompetence can degrade a patient’s quality of life. In terms of data, almost 50 percent of the population suffers from superficial vein disease by getting reticular or spider veins. However, for about 20 to 25 percent of the population, this vein disease can lead to highly visible varicosities in the lower limbs and may even cause skin changes and ulceration.

When a superficial vein’s valves fail to work properly, blood that normally flows from the legs upward through the valves, is able to flow backward, causing blood to pool within the leg veins. If blood is not able to circulate successfully, it can potentially cause ulcers, skin discoloration, blood clots, or varicosities (visible varicose veins). Superficial vein disease is caused by inflammatory processes that damage a vein’s walls and valves.


What are deep veins?

The veins located deep inside your body are known as deep veins. A deep vein is usually a large vein—way larger than the superficial veins—running through the muscles of the thigh and calf. A deep vein is located beside an artery that has the same name. There are seven deep veins located in the lower extremities. Due to the fact that deep veins collectively carry the majority of your blood, an obstruction can become life-threatening. Clotting or thrombosis causes obstruction of a deep vein. DVT or deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins.


Treating vein disease with zero hassle

Since 2005, Dr. Gregory Azia at We’re So Vain  offers a wide range of vein procedures. Both spider and varicose vein leg pain treatment, offered at our clinic is approved by the FDA. Dr. Azia a  vein specialists understands a patient’s vein problem and deliver the right procedures., Dr,. Azia  has become one of the most dependable names when it comes to getting rid of different vein problems.

If you would like to learn more about vein disease, contact us at 860-443-3202 to schedule your consultation appointment

Don’t let painful legs negatively impact your daily life.



You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Your Job Put You at Risk for Varicose Veins?

Standing for more than four hours per day at work may put professionals, such as teachers, at risk for varicose veins, but working in a profession that requires a person to sit all day can also increase the risk for varicose veins.

Is it time for you to see a Vein Specialist?

Are you are struggling with leg vein issues such as swelling, stiffness, Itchiness, a burning sensation, achy legs or cramps, discolored skin but don’t know if it’s serious enough to warrant a visit to a doctor?