BY DR. COHEN
First, what is venous insufficiency anyway?
Sometimes the one-way valves in the superficial veins of the leg become leaky and stop functioning. When the valves are leaky, gravity can pull the blood down, and allow it to pool in the lower leg. This can result in a range of symptoms. The biggest two risk factors for this condition are a past pregnancy and a family history of venous insufficiency.
1. The most obvious symptom is the appearance of unsightly spider veins or bulging, tortuous varicose veins. While the most common location for varicose veins is on the inside of the thigh and calf, they can appear anywhere on the leg. Left untreated, these veins can sometimes, not often, develop clots (a condition known as superficial phlebitis). And occasionally they can rupture and bleed.
2. Another common symptom is recurrent ankle swelling, particularly when standing for prolonged periods
3. Other signs involve chronic skin damage in the lower leg and ankle. The skin can turn a dark brown, a condition known as “hyperpigmentation,” or sometimes become leathery and thick, a condition called “lipodermatosclerosis”. If you have a serious blue discoloration of the foot and ankle, you may have “corona phlebectasia”. In advanced stages, the skin can break down, and a sore, or ulcer, can develop. These ulcers, usually on the inside of the ankle tend to be painless, but are slow to heal. If an ulcer develops you should have your veins checked.
4. Or your legs just feel bad. There are many symptoms that you can’t see but definitely feel. They include leg pain, heaviness and fatigue, itchy legs, night cramps and restless leg syndrome. Typically they are worse after prolonged standing or sitting and often improved after elevating your legs.
You should consider any of these symptoms of venous insufficiency a good reason to come in for a consultation. It’s quick and easy and could make a real difference in your quality of life. You should know that effective, easy treatments for these conditions today no longer require painful vein surgery like it did in years past and may be covered by your insurance.
You can arrange for a quick and easy consultation right now by calling 201-265-5300.
About us: There are 20 million Americans with vein problems that can seriously affect the quality of their lives. And as we age, they just get worse. As one of the few New Jersey medical practices committed exclusively to vein care, Advanced Vascular Vein Care is uniquely capable of alleviating those problems, whether they are medical or cosmetic. All treatments are non-surgical, usually covered by insurance, and delivered in an office setting. And we do it as it should be done – with compassion, excellence, affordability, convenience, and the personal touch. Call 201-265-5300 or visit AdvancedVascular.com for a quick and easy consultation.