What causes weakened blood vessel walls and incompetent valves within the vein?

What causes weakened blood vessel walls and incompetent valves within the vein? Are the veins in my heart weak? Should I be worried about this? I have had my large veins and small veins injected. The large ones have not been problematic, it's the small veins that all came back.

The information provided by medical professionals in the Q&A is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individualized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health care provider.


Replied on 1/20/2013

By: NE Laser Vein Institute - Complete Vein Care Center  |  Dr. Majid, MD, FACS
Top Doctor Award by New Jersey Magazine 2007 to 2013

Ridgewood, NJ

Leg veins have no connection to the veins in the heart. Please explain why you feel your heart veins are weakened as a result of the problems occurring with your leg veins.

Replied on 1/18/2013

By: Pacific Vein Care  |  E. Conti MD, C. Chan MD, and S. Ali MD
McHenry, IL

There's a very good chance that you inherited weak vein walls from your parents. The thinner the vein wall, the more likely the veins are to balloon out. Inheritance, or genetics, is the single greatest risk factor for developing vein disease. Other common risk factors are: just being a woman (due to female hormones), pregnancy, and prolonged standing (pooling of blood in the veins that stretches them out). As the veins stretch out, their one way valves stop working and when the valves are out of the picture, the stretching just gets faster. With regard to your heart veins, don’t worry about it. Yes, there are some rare disorders (like Colagen Vascular Diseases) that can have widespread problems, but vein problems are some of the smallest problems these poor folks have. Given enough time, almost all veins come back (although they are really new veins in the old location). Big veins can take decades to come back, but the little ones don't take long to reappear. As a matter of fact, some doctors argue that the new veins were already there, but they were too small to see at the time of treatment. Anyway, I'm sorry to tell you that your veins will eventually come back, especially the spider veins.

Replied on 1/17/2013

By: Intermountain Vein Center  |  
Provo, UT

Causes of bad valves in the leg veins and heart differ drastically and are separate in nature. Bad heart valves are due to a number of heart diseases. Valves in the leg veins, however, can go bad due to heredity, excessive amount of blood flow due to pregnancy, having a job that requires you to stand in one spot for 8+ hours, etc. Having another ultrasound would be in your best interest to determine the source of those smaller veins.

Replied on 1/16/2013

By: Advanced Vein Center  |  Bruce R. Hoyle, M.D.
Orange, CA

Venous disease is hereditary and can be caused by a number of other factors like pregnancy, occupation and obesity. Venous disease does not involve the heart.

Replied on 1/15/2013

By: Dr. Michael Gioscia, MD, FACS, FACPh  |  
White Plains, NY

"Weakening" of the vein walls and incompetent valves are the reason that patients develop vein conditions. These characteristics are inherited, but aside from the familial component (indirect penetrance), factors such as pregnancy cause further weakening of the walls and valves; specifically, hormones. Estrogen tends to weaken vein walls, while progesterone weakens the valve cusp. Weight and other environmental effects are other negative contributing factors. Weak valves in the veins, however, do not necessarily correlate with "weak' valves in the heart.

Replied on 1/14/2013

By: Americas Vein Centers - Southborough  |  Dr. B. Bergus M.D., R.V.S.

Southborough, MA

A thorough evaluation would determine the cause of your weakened blood vessels and incompetent valves.

Replied on 1/10/2013

By: Laser Vein Center  |  Thomas Wright, M.D., F.A.C.P., R.V.T.
O'Fallon, MO

The weak walls and valves are because of the type of collagen your body makes. They do not affect your heart, so you should not worry about this. Small veins can come back at any time.

Replied on 1/10/2013

By: Advanced Vein & Laser Centre  |  Richard Rosenfeld, M.D., ABPH
Libertyville, IL

Genetics, genetics, genetics. Pregnancy and standing professions can also aggravate the condition.

Replied on 1/10/2013

By: Vanish Vein and Laser Center  |  John Landi,MD,FACS,RPVI,RPhS, Diplomate ABVLM
Naples, FL

Veins in your arms and legs have nothing to do with your heart. The reasons vary as to why valves in veins malfunction. It could be due to heredity, age, pregnancies, trauma, etc. Hand and arm veins, although they have valves, are not usually affected. Small veins are called spider and reticular veins, and these are the hardest to eradicate. Sclerotherapy can treat small veins, but is something that requires multiple treatments and usually demands a life-long process of maintenance sclerotherapy.

Replied on 1/10/2013

By: General Vascular Surgery Group  |  Michael D. Ingegno, M.D.
Robert O’Neil Gingery, M.D.
Lamont D. Paxton, M.D.

San Ramon, CA

The leg veins are generally not related to heart problems, so not to worry. Most commonly, genetics are the cause of vein issues in the legs.

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