Vein Disorders and Diseases
Venous insufficiency and varicose veins explained.
What is venous disease?
Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency or venous disease, is a medical condition in which veins are unable to sufficiently send blood from the legs back to the heart. According to Stanford University, it is estimated that over 40 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. Vein disease can lead to serious, chronic and debilitating health problems.
How does venous disease relate to varicose veins?
When veins are functioning normally, tiny valves open and close, keeping the blood flowing upward back to the heart. But these valves can fail, causing the blood to flow backward and pool inside the vein. The failure of these tiny valves is venous insufficiency, or “vein disease.” When the pooling of blood causes the vein to dilate or bulge, this is what we know as varicose veins.
Do you have venous disease or varicose veins?
If you have any of the most common symptoms, it’s important to be screened/examined for venous disease. Even spider veins, which are smaller and look like red or blue spider webs, could indicate vein disease. Watch for any of these symptoms:
- – Leg pain, aching or cramping
- – Burning or itching of your skin
- – Leg or ankle swelling
- – A heavy feeling in your legs
- – Skin discoloration or texture changes
- – Restless legs
- – Open wounds or sores
What should you do for your vein problem?
Only ultrasound can confirm vein disease and map the veins to locate insufficient veins. Spider veins may or may not be associated with varicosity elsewhere. Also, how well is the problem vein functioning? Using state-of-the-art ultrasound performed only by accredited ultrasonographers, Dr. Gilvydis evaluates venous function to fully understand your problems, and then recommends which minimally invasive treatment will be best and most appropriate for you.
What things increase your risk for vein disorders?
- – A family history of vein disease
- – Pregnancy
- – Trauma or injury to your affected leg
- – Occupations that require prolonged periods of sitting or standing
- – Obesity
What happens if you don’t seek evaluation and treatment?
Phlebitis is an inflammation of a vein (or part thereof) with such symptoms as swelling, redness, sensation of warmth, tenderness and vein hardening. Clotting is major concern for varicose veins, because they can advance to DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which is quite serious and potentially deadly. Untreated varicose veins and venous insufficiency can also lead to venous ulcers, the leading cause of chronic wounds in the US. Leg ulcers themselves are a sign of underlying vein disease . . . and another reason not to delay getting evaluated and treated.