A General Overview of the Vascular System

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vascular systemAt West Florida Vein Center, we understand that the majority of our patients are not physicians themselves and have little to no understanding of the vascular system as a whole. While this is generally fine, as a person ages or their vein health deteriorates, there may come a time when treatment at a vein center by a licensed vascular specialist becomes necessary. For many people who become vein patients, a certain knowledge and understanding of the vascular system as a whole becomes crucial in understanding and addressing their conditions.

Below you will find a basic and easy to follow introduction to the vascular system. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed, your physician will of course be taking care of the hard parts. This small guide is simply meant to introduce you to some of the vocabulary your vein specialist will likely be using with you, ensuring that their directions and recommendations are clear, understood, and correctly followed every time.

The vascular system, also known as the circulatory system, is comprised of a series of blood vessels designed to carry blood, oxygen, and nutrients and deliver them throughout the body’s tissues. At the same time, waste matter is picked up throughout the tissues and carried to the correct locations for disposal.

There are three major types of blood vessels, each with their own specific purpose:

  • Arteries are the largest, fewest, and most vital vessels within the human body. The purpose of arteries is to carry oxygen-rich blood pumped directly out of the heart and distribute it throughout all other tissues. The body’s major arteries are quite large, but break down into smaller and smaller branches in order to be able to reach all of the body’s organs.
  • Veins are medium-sized vessels that perform an extremely important function in the circulatory system. It is the job of the body’s veins to pump blood from throughout the body’s tissues back to the heart, expanding as they collect waste.
  • Capillaries are extremely numerous and tiny blood vessels located between the veins and arteries. The main purpose of capillaries is to assist both the arteries and the veins as they perform their functions. Capillaries distribute the oxygenated blood from the arteries out into the cells, and then collect the waste and distribute it back into the veins.

After examining the vascular system and its components, it’s easy to see how vital this system is to all the body’s functions. Other important bodily systems – the respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems, as well as the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature – would not be able to function without nearly constant interaction from the vascular system. Because the pumping action in the vascular system has to constantly battle with the force of gravity, the body’s arteries, veins, and capillaries must work very hard, and they are highly sensitive to problems and issues.

While you may understand the vascular system a little better after reading this, unless you are a physician you will most likely not be able to self-diagnose or treat any venous conditions that come up. Without a properly functioning system of blood vessels to distribute oxygen and eliminate waste, the body would simply fail. To learn more about the vascular system and the importance of your vascular health, please get in touch with Dr. Zuzga at West Florida Vein Center today.

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Tampa Vein Specialists

No one needs to suffer from untreated varicose vein disease anymore. In addition, with today's favorable insurance coverage, the procedures are even more accessible. If you have a vein problem, you need Dr. Zuzga and West Florida Vein Center!


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