Chronic vein disease is a common problem that affects over 25 million Americans. Vein disease is largely associated with heredity, but age and lifestyle factors can also have an impact. This condition results from a high amount of backwards pressure in the veins due to venous insufficiency.
In most cases, chronic vein disease stems from damage to one-way valves inside the vein. This damage prevents the valve from assisting in returning blood to the heart, leading to a back pressure problem in leg veins. Blood begins to pool, leading to varicose veins and spider veins.
An obstruction in the vein may also lead to chronic vein disease, particularly blockage caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If the varicose and spider veins are not treated, this can lead to DVT. Chronic scarring or venous compression can additionally lead to excessive tension in the veins of the lower ankle and leg.
To schedule a consultation and learn more about vein disease, contact us today.
What Causes Swollen Legs?
Your chances of experiencing venous insufficiency and varicose veins is largely determined by your genetics, but lifestyle factors also have a role to play. If you are older, spend a significant amount of time standing, or live a sedentary lifestyle, you have a higher risk of vein disease. Though vein disease affects both genders, women are more likely to experience this issue than men.
When your veins are healthy, tiny one-way valves help keep your blood flowing from your extremities to your heart. However, these valves can become damaged, which allows blood to flow backwards and pool in the veins below. As a result, swollen, bulging varicose veins may form. These veins are most common in the legs.
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Approximately 25 million Americans will suffer from chronic vein disease during their lifetimes. It’s a common condition that is caused primarily by genetics, but lifestyle and age can also play a role in the development of the disease.
Veins transport blood from the extremities back to the heart using a system of one-way valves that keep the blood flowing in the proper direction. Occasionally, though, a high amount of backward pressure can build within the vein, which can damage the integrity of the valves and result in pooling of the blood within the vein. As this happens, the vein enlarges and becomes varicose.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins may or may not cause pain, but they appear blue or purple in color due to the large amount of deoxygenated blood they contain. They also frequently appear twisted and bulge above the surface of the skin. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are positioned closer to the skin and smaller. Spider veins can appear red or blue.
Varicose veins can cause physical pain, and symptoms include a heavy or aching feeling in the legs, burning, throbbing, or cramping at the vein site, and swelling in the lower legs. Sitting or standing for long periods of time can intensify these symptoms.
Vein Disease Complications
While rare, varicose veins can develop complications, including ulcers and bleeding. Long-term fluid build-up in the tissues near varicose veins can cause the development of extremely painful ulcers. The ankle area is particularly prone to the formation of venous ulcers, which usually start as a discolored spot on the skin. If you suspect you may be developing an ulcer, see your doctor immediately.
Also, varicose veins that sit close to the skin can occasionally burst. While this results in minor bleeding, there is a high risk it can happen again, so seeking medical attention is a good idea.
At Comprehensive Vein Treatment Center, we offer treatment for chronic vein disease using modern, technologically advanced methods and equipment, and our doctor is a board-certified specialist in cardiovascular surgery. For more information or to make an appointment, call our office today.
Varicose and Spider Veins
Varicose veins occur when pressure damages the one-way valves that allow veins to keep blood flowing away from the extremities and towards the heart. Valve damage can result in pooling of the blood, which causes the vein to become enlarged and varicose. Spider veins are caused by poor circulation or could be a symptom of varicose vein formation. The thin blue blood vessels are usually harmless.
Risk Factors for Vein Disease
Vein problems are primarily caused by genetics, but other factors can also play a role. For example, as people age, veins can lose elasticity and stretch, and the valves can weaken and malfunction. Also, many pregnant women find that the increase in blood volume and hormone levels causes varicose veins to develop. And each subsequent pregnancy can further compound vein abnormalities. Other risk factors, including leg injuries, obesity, and standing occupations can make one more prone to developing a vein disease.
Symptoms of Vein Disease
Individuals with chronic vein disease might experience itching, burning, or soreness at the vein site, a heavy or aching feeling in the lower legs, throbbing or cramping leg muscles, swelling of the legs, and other symptoms. These symptoms may worsen after long periods of standing or sitting. Complications can develop if vein abnormalities are left untreated, such as venous ulcers, bleeding, and clotting.
Treatment for Vein Disease
At Comprehensive Vein Treatment Center, we offer treatment options for patients dealing with chronic vein disease. For the treatment of spider veins and small varicose veins (Reticular veins), we offer treatment utilizing Laser and Intense Pulse Light. We have treated more than 5000 patients with these modalities with more than 98 percent satisfaction.
Before we recommend these treatments the patients are thoroughly evaluated for the underlying pathology which is usually venous insufficiency. We treat venous insufficiency with Radiofrequency Venous Closure procedure which is minimally invasive procedure and is done in an ambulatory fashion. The patient can go back to work the next day.
In a few selected patients, we do the treatment with sclerotherapy. This is not our preferred treatment modality.
We also offer Endovenous Laser Treatment (ELT), which utilizes an optical fiber injected into the vein to emit infrared light, causing the vein to contract. ELT is a quick, minimally invasive procedure. It requires no downtime and is relatively painless.
For more information on these or other vein treatments, or to schedule your appointment, contact our office today.