Vein Specialists located in Charlotte, NC
Leg swelling, also called edema, should never be ignored because it can be the first sign of a vein problem. Peter Ford, MD, FACS, RPVI, and the team at Vascular Solutions in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializes in treating the venous conditions responsible for leg swelling. Dr. Ford takes the time to carefully evaluate each patient, perform advanced diagnostic imaging, determine an accurate diagnosis, and then recommend one of many advanced treatments. If you have ongoing leg swelling that’s not related to an injury, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Leg Swelling Q & A
What causes leg swelling?
Inflammation and swelling occur as part of the healing process when you suffer an injury. However, there’s another type of swelling that’s not related to healing. This type of swelling, called edema, develops when extra fluids build up in your leg tissues.
Leg swelling often occurs when you stand or sit too long, but it’s also a symptom of health conditions such as:
- Venous disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
Of all the potential reasons your legs could swell, venous disease is one of the most common.
What vein conditions are associated with leg swelling?
In many patients, leg swelling is the first and only symptom of an underlying venous disease. Vein problems associated with leg swelling include:
Venous reflux (chronic venous insufficiency)
Venous reflux is the underlying vein problem that causes varicose veins. Interestingly, some people with venous reflux will develop symptoms of vein problems, including aching, heaviness, leg fatigue, leg cramps, and leg swelling, but may not have externally visible varicose veins.
Even if you don’t have varicose veins, chances are you’re familiar with the enlarged, bulging, twisted, dark blue, and purple appearance of these unsightly veins. In addition to their effect on your appearance, varicose veins often cause symptoms such as:
- Leg pain
- Aching or tired legs
- Swollen legs
- Burning or itching
- Ulcers around your ankles
- Changes in skin color (ankle discoloration)
- Heaviness or fatigue in your legs
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein deep in your leg. Leg swelling is the most common symptom of DVT. You may also experience pain, aching, tenderness, or redness.
How do vein specialists treat leg swelling?
After reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam, your Vascular Solutions provider performs a duplex ultrasound to confirm the presence and the severity of the underlying vein problem.
Once your provider diagnoses the cause of your leg swelling, they develop a treatment plan designed to deal with your specific condition. Potential treatments include:
- Compression stockings
- Leg elevation
- Weight loss
- Varithena® procedure
- Wound care
Blood thinners (for treatment of deep vein thrombosis - DVT) Don’t wait to have your leg swelling evaluated by the vein experts at Vascular Solutions. Schedule an appointment by calling the office or request one online today.