Leg Vascular Disease Causes

Leg Vascular Disease Causes

Vascular Disease is an umbrella term used to describe any condition that affects blood vessels; arteries and veins and can be caused by a multitude of conditions.

  1. The vascular system is composed of a series of vessels, arteries and veins. Arteries are responsible for moving blood with oxygen toward the body tissue and veins are responsible for moving the de-oxygenated blood back toward the heart. 
  2. The arteries contain muscles to pump and move the blood with the aid of the heart and use of gravity, while veins contain a series of valves and rely on the muscle in the body to move the blood. 

Both arteries and veins can malfunction, causing disease, but both types of diseases are different.

​"​Venous disease is caused by the loss of function of the valves which leads to accumulation of blood in the veins, and further stretching of the veins" - Dr. Edward Mackay
To learn more about vascular surgery, contact Dr. Mackay at 1-727-261-0047 or fill out an appointment request form.

​Arterial ​Disease Cause and Symptoms

This is commonly referred to as peripheral arterial disease, but arterial disease also affects arteries in the heart, which can lead to heart attacks or arteries in the brain, which can lead to a stroke. Arterial disease is caused by a narrowing of the artery, which are referred to as atherosclerosis, but can also be due to other narrowing or malfunction of the arteries.

  • Symptoms:  Since oxygenated blood flow is slowed or blocked, this prevents vital tissues from receiving oxygen, which leads to symptoms of reduced pulses, coolness in the legs, pale skin, loss of hair, poor wound healing, and pain particularly with activity. 
  • Causes:  family history, high cholesterol, poor dietary choices, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and diabetes. 

Video: Understanding Venous Disease

​Dr. Edward Mackay gives you a basic understand about Venous Disease.

​​Venous ​Disease Cause and Symptoms

The types of venous disease are spider veins, varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and blood clots.  Venous disease is caused by the loss of function of the valves which leads to accumulation of blood in the veins, and further stretching of the veins. In the case of blood clots, this accumulation of blood can clot, as the blood is not properly moving.

    • Symptoms:  Symptoms differ based on the type of venous disease. 

      • Spider veins:  Do not cause any pain and are only of concern due to their appearance, which is a spiculated red or purple area on the legs. 

      • Varicose veins:  Cause pain, swelling, heaviness, and gnarled veins that are usually obvious on the surface of the skin. 

      • Venous insufficiency: Can cause similar symptoms as varicose veins, but may also include itching of the skin, and staining of the skin a dark color, which comes from the iron in the blood that leaches out of the malfunctioning veins and into the skin. 

      • Blood clots:  Usually a more sudden onset of symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and redness of the leg. 

    • Causes:  family history, sedentary lifestyle, obesity or being overweight, pregnancy, standing or sitting for long periods of time, and prior trauma to the veins. 

​Both arteries and veins can malfunction, causing disease, but both types of diseases are different.

Video: ​What Causes Varicose Veins?

​Varicose Veins are caused by faulty valves in the veins that allows the blood to pool and create a bulging, twisted and painful vein. When this happens, the blood, instead of flowing toward the heart the way it's supposed to, instead flows toward the feet, increasing pressure on the walls of the veins.

To learn more about vascular surgery, contact Dr. Mackay at 1-727-261-0047 or fill out an appointment request form.

​​Is Arterial Disease More Dangerous Than Venous Disease?

​Most people are affected by either venous or arterial disease and not both simultaneously. Arterial disease is more serious, as the body’s tissues are not receiving appropriate oxygen, which can lead to the loss of limbs, but arterial disease is also less common.

Venous disease can lead to serious problems, such as blood clots in the legs that break off, moving to the lungs called a pulmonary embolism, but this is rare.

Most vascular surgeons focus on venous disease, as it is more common. If you are concerned about some of the symptoms discussed or you have been diagnosed with either peripheral arterial disease or venous disease, please visit with a board certified vascular surgeon to discuss your symptoms, diagnosis, and possible treatment options.

Video: Meet Dr. Mackay

Meet one of Tampa Bay's most trusted vascular surgeons. Dr. Edward Mackay has been helping clients prevent and treat vascular diseases. Click here to learn more about this board certified vascular surgeon.