What is Venous Disease?
Veins are thin, flexible tubes with valves that pump blood toward your heart for oxygen. Then, arteries pump oxygenated blood from the heart to body tissue. This blood flow cycle is called the circulatory system, and it is vital to deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
If a vein wall is damaged, or if the valves that move blood become weak, then blood can flow backward and pool in the veins. The build-up of blood can cause veins to swell, twist, stretch, and create more damage. Damaged veins can slow blood flow and lead to blood clot formation. Untreated, this condition causes disorders known as venous disease.
Identification And Management
Venous disease can be as harmless as varicose veins or pose more life-threatening problems, like a stroke or heart attack. Roughly 2 million cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, and nearly 600,000 Americans are diagnosed with pulmonary embolism (PE) in which clot travels from its point of origin to the lungs.
Venous disease is a common cause of chronic pain and swelling of an extremity. The problems are caused by many different disorders, but the most common involve a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), is another possible cause. This condition involves increased pressure in the veins due to poorly functioning valves.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot which forms in the venous system. This is a dangerous condition which often strikes people when they’re most vulnerable.
Get your venous disease diagnosed ASAP
Conditions We Treat
At Michigan Vascular Center we can diagnose and treat the entire spectrum of venous problems.
Venous Disease Diagnosis
An experienced vein specialist may diagnose vein disorders by observation of visible symptoms. Further examination may include an x-ray, CT scan, MRI, blood test, or ultrasound.
An ultrasound can show blood flow and blood clots through sound waves.
Common Venous Disease Treatments
Venous disease treatment and management often involves lifestyle adjustments combined with medical treatment.
To treat venous disease:
- Eat a well-balanced diet low in sodium and trans fats
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking and tobacco use
- Wear compression stockings or garments
- Take prescribed medications
- Undergo procedures or surgeries
When to Visit the ER
Call 911 immediately if you experience:
- Sudden, severe chest pain
- Slurred speech
- Face drooping on one side
- Severe abdominal pain
- Loss of vision
- Dizziness and confusion
- Unexplained weakness in the arm or leg
When to See a Vein Specialist
See your doctor or a vein specialist if you experience pain, swelling, itching, numbness, or heaviness near a vein that does not go away in a few days, especially if it is unexplained.
What Should I Ask My Doctor?
Asking these questions can be useful during your doctor’s visit:
- How advanced is my condition?
- Will I need prescription medication or a procedure?
- Are there any non-surgical treatments you provide?
- What at-home treatments can I do?