Artwork of legs with healthy and varicose veins

Artwork of legs with healthy and varicose veins

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Credit: HANS-ULRICH OSTERWALDER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Varicose veins. Artwork of human legs showing healthy and varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged, tortuous or twisted veins just beneath the skin surface. The three tubes (at left) represent healthy veins. Muscular contractions around the veins cause deoxygenated blood to be pumped up the vein back towards the heart (up arrows). Valves (across the veins) prevent blood from draining back down the leg under the force of gravity. In the varicose veins to the right the valves have become defective so blood is draining downwards (down arrows). This pooling of blood causes the characteristic swelling and distortion.

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Keywords: artwork, condition, disease, disorder, healthcare, leg, medical, medicine, varicose, varicose vein, vein

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