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Can Varicose Veins Cause Leg Swelling?

Varicose veins are a common vascular condition affecting millions of people worldwide. These enlarged, elevated and twisted veins often appear on the legs and can cause various symptoms, including leg swelling. If you are experiencing swollen legs and suspect that varicose veins might be the culprit, this article will provide you with helpful information and address your concerns in an informative, professional, and reassuring manner.


What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins that typically appear on the legs. They often have a bluish or purplish color and a twisted, cord-like appearance. Varicose veins develop when the valves inside the veins become dilated and the valves no longer close properly.  These weakened valves allow blood to backup down the leg causing the next segment of vein to stretch and enlarge. Common risk factors for developing varicose veins include genetics, age, obesity, prolonged standing or sitting, and pregnancy.


Dr. David Verebelyi, a leading vein specialist at Colorado Skin & Vein, explains, “Venous insufficiency is the underlying cause of varicose veins. When the one-way valves in the veins fail to function properly, blood backs up in the vein of thighs and legs, leading to their enlargement and the development of varicose veins.”


The Connection Between Varicose Veins and Leg Swelling

Varicose veins are intimated associated with the cause of leg swelling, venous insufficiency. When the valves in the veins are stretched or damaged, blood struggles to return to the heart efficiently and backs up in the veins within the thighs and legs.  This backup causes the veins in those areas to stretch out. This stretching of those veins causes damage to the vein wall making it easier for the fluid pooling in them to leach out into the surrounding tissue causing swelling.  


In addition to swelling, this process causes other symptoms such as pain, heaviness, fatigue, cramping, Restless Leg Syndrome and skin changes like discoloration or vascular eczema. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical advice from a vein specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Is Leg Swelling a Serious Condition?

Leg swelling, also known as edema, is usually a sign of an underlying health issue.  They can be related to issues with the lymphatic system (lymphedema), heart or kidney problems but most often lower leg swelling signifies vein issues.  These symptoms should always be evaluated to understand to source of the swelling. 


It is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience any type of regular, persistent or severe leg swelling.  These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition that requires prompt treatment.


Dr. Verebelyi advises, “If you notice leg swelling or experience pain and discomfort along with the swelling, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and improve your overall health.”


Diagnosing Varicose Veins and Leg Swelling

If you suspect that your leg swelling is caused by veins, consulting a vein specialist is crucial. At Colorado Skin & Vein, their team of experts has over 20 years of extensive experience in diagnosing and treating various vascular issues. During your consultation, the specialist will perform a physical examination and may use diagnostic tools like duplex ultrasound to assess both your deep and superficial veins.  This will help determine the cause and severity to ensure you understand which treatments will be most effective in treating your swelling. 


Treatment Options for Varicose Veins and Leg Swelling

Treatment for varicose veins and leg swelling depends on the severity of your condition. Conservative measures such as wearing compression stockings, making lifestyle changes (e.g., maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly), and elevating your legs can help alleviate symptoms and improve circulation.


For more advanced cases, Colorado Skin & Vein offers a range of minimally invasive treatments:

  • Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (EVRF) and Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA): These procedures involve using radiofrequency energy or laser energy to heat and seal the damaged vein, redirecting blood flow to healthier veins.
  • VenaSeal medical adhesive: This innovative treatment uses a medical adhesive to close the diseased vein, allowing blood to reroute through healthier veins.
  • Sclerotherapy with Varithena foam: A special foam is injected into the affected vein, causing it to collapse and seal shut. The body then naturally absorbs the treated vein.
  • Microphlebectomy: This procedure involves making tiny incisions to remove the superficial, bulging varicose veins through a minimally invasive technique.

Dr. Verebelyi states, “Our practice is dedicated to providing the most advanced and effective treatments for varicose veins. We have seen excellent results and high patient satisfaction with minimally invasive procedures like EVRF, EVLA, and VenaSeal. These treatments can significantly reduce leg swelling and improve overall vein health.”


Taking the First Step Towards Healthier Legs

Vein issues in the thighs and legs are the most common cause of leg swelling, and seeking medical advice is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of swelling, don’t hesitate to consult with a vein specialist. The experienced team at Colorado Skin & Vein is committed to providing the most advanced and effective treatments in a comfortable, luxurious setting. Schedule a consultation today and take the first step towards healthier, symptom-free legs.

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