Advanced Vein Disease
What is Advanced Vein Disease?
Venous insufficiency – or reflux – that most often causes varicose veins, is a condition that will never cure itself. Many people seek conservative treatments, such as compression hosiery, leg elevation, etc., which only temporarily alleviates the symptoms, but cannot treat the underlying disease. Many people who leave their varicose veins untreated will not only continue to experience symptoms of pain, fatigue, heaviness, cramping and swelling of the legs and ankles, but will also run the risk of developing more advanced, problematic complications, such as:
Blood pools in varicose veins, can cause venous hypertension, a building pressure in the vein. This elevated pressure allows red blood cells and fluid to leak into the tissues of the leg. The fluid leak causes tissue swelling, and the subsequent breakdown of the red blood cells in the tissues cause chronic inflammation and hyperpigmentation of the skin, known as Stasis Dermatitis. When the skin and the fat under the skin are inflamed for extended periods of time or for years, the tissues can become thickened, woody and firm, a condition known as LipoDermatoSclerosis, or LDS. Both conditions are often irreversible.
Venous Stasis Ulcers
Patients suffering with progressive vein disease may eventually develop venous leg ulcers. When left untreated they can be very painful and difficult to heal. The ulcers can often show rapid improvement when the backwards flow of blood in the veins is corrected through an endovenous laser ablation, performed as an outpatient procedure in our Kansas City vein clinic.
Superficial Thrombophlebitis (STP)
STP is inflammation of a vein just below the surface of the skin. This can lead to decreased blood flow through the vein, damage of the vein and blood clotting. The features of STP include redness to the skin and a firm, tender, warm vein. Localized leg pain and swelling may occur as well. Fortunately, STP is usually a benign and short-term condition when diagnosed and treated with NSAIDs. Application of warm, moist compresses, continued activity and the wearing of graduated compression stockings may also help with STP.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Unlike STP, DVT can be associated with significant and serious medical problems. When the valves in the veins fail to work properly (venous reflux), blood pools in the vein due to higher pressure. This high pressure leads to inflammation in the vein. That, combined with the more sluggish flow of blood and a damaged valve surface creates the ideal conditions for a blood clot to form. The clots associated with vein disease may be superficial or deep. DVTs are the most dangerous, having the ability to break off and travel to the lungs, becoming a pulmonary embolism (PE). If the travelling clot is large enough, it can be fatal. Patients who are diagnosed with DVT or PE are put on blood thinner medications, and sometimes require urgent procedures to remove the clot. However, your best bet is to simply treat your vein disease sooner, rather than later, to avoid this risk altogether.
DVT is often first noticed as a “pulling” sensation in the calf, and can be quite painful. Symptoms also include associated warmth, redness and swelling, which often extends above the knee. Patients at a higher risk for developing DVT include those who:
- Are over the age of 60
- Recently had surgery
- Prior history of DVT
- History of blood clotting disorder
- Those taking oral contraceptives or hormone therapy
- Those who have recently undergone prolonged immobility
Read more on Painful Varicose Veins here.
Why Choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz
When you choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz for your vein procedure, you will be working with an experienced physician who specializes in vein disease. Dr. Schwartz is known as Kansas City’s “Original Vein Doctor” and the only triple board-certified vascular surgeon performing vein treatments in the area. Premier Vein & Body was founded in 2003 and was one of the first vein treatment centers in the Kansas City area. Dr. Schwartz is certified as an RVT (Registered Vascular Technician) and RPVI (Registered Physician Vascular Interpretation). These certifications are in venous ultrasounds technology, ensuring the most thorough diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. With over 12,000 vein procedures performed, we’re confident that we can help you no matter what your vein condition might be.
To learn more about the treatment of Advanced Vein Disease, schedule your free vein screening* with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at (913) 451-8346 . Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves Kansas City, Leawood, and Overland Park.
**Results may vary and are not guaranteed. Consult with Dr. Schwartz to see if you are a good candidate.