Leg swelling isn’t uncommon, partly because lots of things can cause swelling — including vein problems. What a lot of people don’t understand, though, is how a problem with their veins can wind up causing that swelling — or what they can do to relieve it.
At Desert West Vein & Surgery Center, Atur Kasha, DO, offers treatment options for leg swelling in patients at his El Paso, Texas, practice. In this post, he explains how vein problems and swollen legs may be related.
Most of us think of our veins as hollow tubes that carry blood from one part of the body to another. But actually, each vein contains a series of tiny valves. These valves open and close repeatedly to keep blood moving back toward your heart.
If one or more of these valves is damaged or weakened, it can have a dramatic effect on your circulation, allowing blood to flow backward or “pool up” inside your vein. Eventually, this change leads to more valve problems and damage to the inside of the veins. Veins become irritated, inflamed and swollen, leading to the bulging, “ropey” appearance we recognize as varicose veins.
As the pressure inside your “backed-up” vein increases, it can lead to “leakage” along with problems with the mechanisms that drain your legs of extra fluids. Together, these effects combine to cause swelling, usually around your feet, ankles, and calves.
Sometimes, varicose veins and leg swelling are accompanied by other symptoms, like:
Vein problems, like varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, affect millions of people, and the symptoms they cause can vary from one person to another. It isn’t surprising, then, that vein treatments can also vary from one person to another.
Some mild leg swelling may be managed initially with lifestyle changes, like:
Because many vein problems tend to worsen over time, most people need vein treatment to improve vein health and treat the underlying cause of their symptoms.
Dr. Kasha offers options for treating leg swelling related to damaged veins.
This technique uses a very thin tube or catheter to administer tiny “doses” of radiofrequency to the inside of your vein. After your skin is numbed with a local anesthetic, the catheter is threaded through your vein via a tiny incision. As the energy is administered, the vein shrinks, preventing future circulation through the vein. Afterward, the catheter is removed, and a small bandage is placed over the incision.
VenaSeal uses a technique that’s similar to radiofrequency ablation, but instead of using heat to seal the damaged vein, this technique uses a special medical adhesive that causes the vein walls to stick together. Like ablation, VenaSeal treatment uses a local anesthetic.
Leg swelling isn’t just a cosmetic issue, and it’s more than just an annoyance. To learn what’s causing your swollen legs and how we can help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Kasha and the team at Desert West Vein & Surgery Center today.