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Venous Diseases

Venous diseases occur when the veins in the leg are not efficiently delivering blood back to the heart. Conditions treated at BMC include venous insufficiency, varicose veins and venous leg ulcers.

Chronic venous insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when veins in the legs do not bring blood to the heart in an efficient manner.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling, cramping, heaviness, itching, and tingling feeling in legs or ankles
  • Pain during walking that stops when resting
  • Skin color changes around ankles
  • Varicose veins
  • Ulcers on the legs and ankles

Causes

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when there are malfunctioning valves in the veins. Blood tends to pool in the legs and cause increased pressure in the veins that may lead to symptoms.

Patients at a higher risk for chronic venous insufficiency include those who are overweight, are pregnant, are a current or past smoker, have high blood pressure in the leg veins, have deep vein thrombosis, are inactive for a long period of time or have a family history of this condition. Women over age 50 are more prone to developing chronic venous insufficiency.

Diagnostics

Duplex ultrasound - a painless procedure where gel is placed on affected area and a handheld device is moved across it in order to obtain a picture of the blood flow in the body

Treatment

  • Increasing blood flow – elevating legs or wearing compression stockings to help blood flow and reduce pressure in the leg veins
  • Medications – to improve the flow of blood through the veins
  • Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy involves injecting a chemical substance into the affected vein to injure the veins so they are no longer able to fill with blood, and so become less prominent.
  • Minimally Invasive procedure or Surgery – When simple procedures are not enough, the patient’s physician may recommend increasing blood flow by minimally invasive or surgical procedures such as radiofrequency, laser ablation, or veins stripping

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins that are visible through the skin. Most commonly, varicose veins are located in the legs and feet.  For many people, varicose veins are a cosmetic concern. For others, varicose veins can become painful or inflamed. For those people, treatment is needed before more serious problems occur.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Appearance of veins on the leg
  • Pain, burning, or aching feeling in the affected leg
  • Cramps in the affected leg


Causes

Varicose veins can occur during pregnancy or after a leg injury.

Who’s at risk?

Patients at a higher risk for developing varicose veins include those who are older, are overweight, are current or past smokers, have a family history of varicose veins and/or tend to stand for a prolonged period of time.

Diagnostics

Physicians diagnose varicose veins by asking the patient about their symptoms, lifestyle, and family history. The physician will perform a physical exam, and if needed order a duplex ultrasound: a painless procedure where gel is placed on affected area and a handheld device is moving across it in order to obtain a picture of the blood flow in the body.

Treatments

  • Increasing blood flow – elevating legs or wearing compression stockings to help blood flow and reduce pressure in the leg veins
  • Surgery – More complicated cases of varicose veins may require minimally invasive or surgical procedures such as sclerotherapy, endovascular ablation, vein stripping, and small incision removal.