Chronic Venous Disease
Chronic venous disease is a problem that affects your leg veins and prevents them from returning blood back to the heart properly. Healthy veins rely on your calf muscles to pump blood against gravity and a series of valves to keep the blood from flowing backwards.
But if you have weak calf muscles that cannot provide enough force to pump blood in your veins, and/or the valves in the veins begin to malfunction and allow blood to flow backwards, this can cause blood to pool in the veins of your legs. The resulting high pressure in the veins can lead to minor problems such as dilated veins or varicose veins, aching, and leg heaviness, or serious complications such as chronic ulcers and skin infections.
If you’re suffering from these severe symptoms of varicose veins, Dr. Shah will likely diagnose you with chronic venous insufficiency. Patients may also experience swelling in the feet, legs, and ankles and leg skin rash and color changes. In addition, the increased pressure in the veins can cause them to widen, damaging the valves, and leading to even higher pressures that lead to further failure of vein function. This series of events leads to chronic venous disease.
Some of the factors that may increase pressure in the veins of your legs include:
- Leg injury or surgery - this can block blood flow and cause pressure buildup
- A clot inside the vein - this not only increased pressure, but also causes irreparable damage to the valves and vein lining
- Weight gain - this means that your veins have to work harder to push blood against gravity, leading to increased pressure
- Pregnancy - the developing fetus and womb can impede blood flow in the veins in the pelvic area, increasing pressure in blood vessels in the lower extremities
- Prolonged sitting or standing - inactivity can reduce muscle action, which is necessary to pump blood against gravity, causing it to pool and cause pressure buildup.
If you notice any of the symptoms of chronic venous disease, including dilated veins, swelling, itching, skin irritation/rash/discoloration/ulcers, or heaviness in your legs, you should visit the Center for Vein Wellness in Ventura & Los Angeles for a consultation with Dr. Shah.
Following a diagnostic evaluation that may include ultrasound, Dr. Shah will recommend a personalized chronic venous disease management plan to minimize the symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, he may also perform a minimally invasive procedure to get rid of the damaged or infected veins.
To learn more about chronic venous diseases, please contact us today.