Venous Disease Overview

Veins
Veins are part of your circulatory system. Veins carry blood from the body back to the heart and lungs. Valves in the veins stop blood from flowing backward. The leg muscles help pump the blood forward to return to the heart. There are superficial veins (close to the surface) and deep veins (deep within the legs) within your legs.

Venous Diseases
Venous disease is a disorder of the veins of the body. Some common venous problems are varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT or blood clot), and venous stasis ulcers.

Risk Factors
Heredity
Obesity
Injury
Pregnancy
Surgery
Sedentary lifestyle
Prolonged standing

Signs and Symptoms of Venous Disease
Varicose Veins
Swollen legs and feet
Dry, itchy skin
Brown discoloration of the skin
Leg pain when legs are down
Pain that may disappear when walking

Let your doctor know about any pain, swelling or any change in the appearance of your legs.

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
Burning or aching pain that increases in intensity
Sudden increase in amount of swelling
Change in the usual color of your legs

Diagnosis
History and physical examination
Review of signs and symptoms
Various tests

Treatment
Treatment depends on the specific type of venous disease. The disease may present as varicose veins, deep vein blood clots, chronic venous insufficiency, or venous stasis ulcers.

If you have venous disease, exercise daily, elevate the legs and wear elastic stockings or compression wraps as ordered. Growth factors and grafts using your own skin or bio-engineered tissue are often prescribed in the treatment of venous stasis ulcers to promote more rapid healing. Some special biological dressings may also be used. In addition, your doctor may discuss surgical procedures that may be of help to you.