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Conditions

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What is Vein Disease?

Chronic venous disease causes multiple signs and symptoms.  Varicose veins are permanently damaged and typically progress over time, and can only be cured with treatment.  Definitive treatment is performed by utilizing minimally invasive techniques developed in the last decade.

Causes and Risk factors

Risk factors for chronic venous disease and varicose veins include heredity, advanced age, female gender, pregnancy, prolonged standing, obesity, physical trauma and hormonal influences.  Although risk factors are predictive for chronic venous disease, varicose veins can occur in almost anyone at almost any age.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of chronic venous disease include leg pain, heaviness, cramping and fatigue, swollen and throbbing ankles and calves, burning, tingling or itching skin, and restless legs syndrome.

Varicose veins, spider veins and skin discoloration are early signs of chronic venous disease.  If left untreated, chronic venous disease can lead to more serious signs, such as skin ulceration and bleeding, phlebitis (inflammation/infection) and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).  Skin changes may also occur from chronic venous insufficiency known as lipodermatosclerosis.

These steps can be taken to delay the development or progression of varicose veins:

  • Exercise frequently to improve leg strength and circulation.  This can be easily achieved by just walking more.
  • Avoid prolonged standing.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time by taking short walks every 30 minutes.
  • Leg elevation whenever possible.
  • Manage and keep a healthy weight to decrease pressure on leg circulation.
  • Avoid restrictive clothing and limit wearing high heels.

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