If your legs feel heavy or itchy, and appear discolored and bumpy, you may have venous insufficiency. Its most common form is varicose veins. Your vein doctor in Palm Harbor, FL, can identify which condition is plaguing your circulation, and he can treat it with the latest in non-operative and surgical interventions.
Here’s how you can identify venous diseases.
What Are Veins, And What Can Go Wrong With Them?
Veins are the blood vessels that transport blood from every corner of the body back to the heart and lungs for re-oxygenation. Whatever their size and location, veins contain small valves that prevent blood backflow and stagnation. When these valves malfunction, blood pools in the extremities, causing various symptoms, and when in extreme form, dangerous blood clots can result.
What Are Venous Diseases, And How Can My Vein Specialist Recognize Them?
Here are three of the most common venous diseases and their symptoms.
Also called varicosities, varicose veins typically develop in the superficial veins in the legs, ankles, and feet. When located in the rectum, they are known as hemorrhoids.
During an examination at your vein center in Palm Harbor, FL, your doctor will recognize varicose veins by symptoms such as these:
- Enlarged, twisted, purple blood vessels at the surface of the legs, ankles, and feet
- Swelling of the affected area
- Skin discoloration
- Ulcers on the feet and ankles (when varicosities are extreme)
- Aching and heaviness in the legs
- Itching due to dry, flaking skin
- Skin thickening
According to Johns Hopkins, about 15 percent of American adults suffer with varicose veins, with more patients being women. Besides gender, standing and sitting for long periods of time, obesity, pregnancy, and smoking (a contributing factor in a wide range of circulatory problems) can all increase the risk of varicose vein development.
Affecting the tiniest of superficial veins in the legs, ankles, feet, and face, spider veins are more of a cosmetic problem. While they are not painful, patients feel embarrassed about how they look, particularly if the spider veins are on exposed parts of the thighs, ankles, and the nose.
Our vein specialist sees spider veins in many older patients and people with sun damage to their skin. The sluggish circulation that causes varicose veins contributes to spider veins, too, resulting in their characteristic thread-like, twisted purplish appearance.
Superficial and Deep-Vein Thrombophlebitis
These are potentially life-threatening complications of highly developed varicose veins. Occurring in veins near the skin surface, or worse, deep within the skin and musculature of the lower extremities, thrombophlebitis is a blood clotting problem.
Due to sluggish blood flow, blood clots, or thrombi, block the affected veins. When located in deep veins, the condition is called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. These clots can break off and potentially travel to the lungs, heart, or brain. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.
Your vein disease specialist in St. Petersburg, FL, can diagnose this condition via symptom review and ultrasound examination of the areas in question.
Vein Disease Treatment in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, and Largo, FL
Never ignore symptoms of venous disease no matter how minor. Please contact the vein experts at Edward G. Mackay And Associates for an expert consultation. We are here to help you with these vascular conditions and more.
Call us at (727) 349-5652 to arrange an appointment with board-certified vascular surgeon, Dr. Edward Mackay. Or, use our convenient appointment request form for your consultation at one of our three convenient locations.