Vein Disorders and Diseases
Understanding venous disease and varicose veins
What is venous disease?
Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency or venous disease, is a medical condition in which veins are unable to properly send blood from the legs back to the heart. Vein disease can lead to serious, chronic and debilitating health problems.
How does venous disease relate to varicose veins?
When veins are functioning normally, tiny valves open and close, keeping the blood flowing upward back to the heart. When these valves don’t function properly, it causes the blood to flow backward and pool inside the vein. The malfunction of these tiny valves is what causes venous insufficiency, or “vein disease.” When blood pools in the vein and causes the vein to dilate or bulge, this is what is known as a varicose vein.
It is estimated that over 40 million Americans suffer from
- Leg pain, aching or cramping
- Burning or itching of your skin
- Leg or ankle swelling
- A heavy feeling in your legs
- Skin discoloration or texture changes
- Restless legs
- Open wounds or sores
Do you have venous disease or varicose veins?
If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to be screened for venous disease. Even spider veins, which are smaller and look like red or blue spider webs, could indicate vein disease.
What should you do for your vein problem?
Only ultrasound can confirm vein disease and map the veins to locate insufficient veins. Spider veins may or may not be associated with varicosity elsewhere. Also, how well is the problem vein functioning? Using state-of-the-art ultrasound performed only by accredited ultrasonographers, Dr. Gilvydis evaluates venous function to fully understand your problems, and then recommends which minimally invasive treatment will be best and most appropriate for you.
What factors can increase your risk of vein disease?
- A family history of vein disease
- Trauma or injury to your affected leg
- Occupations that require prolonged periods of sitting or standing
If vein disease is not treated, phlebitis (inflammation of a vein or part of a vein) can occur. Symptoms of phlebitis include swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness and vein hardening. While phlebitis can be caused by infection, pregnancy and being stationary, it can also be caused by varicose veins.
Another major concern with varicose veins is the formation of blood clots. Left untreated, clots can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
Untreated varicose veins and venous insufficiency can also lead to venous ulcers, which are the leading cause of chronic wounds in the U.S. Leg ulcers themselves are a sign of underlying vein disease. These are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to get evaluated and treated if you think you may have vein disease.
What can be done to address your vein problem?
An ultrasound exam can be used to map the veins, locate insufficient veins, and confirm the presence of vein disease. Dr. Gilvydis uses state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to assess vein function and fully evaluate your specific issues. The exam results are used to determine which minimally invasive treatment(s) will be most appropriate and effective for you.
If you have symptoms of vein disease, take the next step – Request your FREE vein screening today.