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What is Venous Disease?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious issue and should be treated quickly and efficiently. So let’s take a look at what you need to know about blood clots. Typically, they occur in your legs after a period of inactivity or can occur in families because of genetic conditions that make the blood clot more easily.

Arteries pump blood from the heart to the legs, and veins have to bring that blood back to the heart. The muscles in your legs act as the pump, and a complex system of one-way valves exists inside the veins so blood can flow more easily upward. When blood doesn’t flow, or veins are damaged by trauma, blood doesn’t flow properly and can clot, causing swelling, pain, and inflammation or phlebitis.

When the clot occurs in the superficial system, it can be treated with anti-inflammatories, like aspirin or topical CBD. If the clot occurs in the deep system, we call it a DVT or deep vein thrombosis. It is much more serious as it can travel back to the heart and lungs and cause life-threatening complications.

Symptoms of Venous Disease

The key to venous disease is to recognize the signs and symptoms early. Sudden leg swelling or pain that occurs after surgery or after traveling in a car or airplane requires immediate attention, as does sudden chest pain and shortness of breath. This could be an indication of clots in the legs.

An ultrasound can diagnose DVT quickly, and if necessary, a CT scan is used to rule out pulmonary embolism. These are life-threatening emergencies and require immediate evaluation by a qualified physician.

Treatments for DVT

Treatment options for DVT include blood thinners and procedures that. When done quickly, these treatments can open up the blocked vein or even remove clots from the lungs. This prevents further long-term complications, including permanent leg swelling and heart failure.  Evaluation by an experienced specialist is essential.

What about varicose veins?

Varicose veins or swollen legs do not lead to deep system clots, but superficial venous reflux is associated with phlebitis, pain, and restless leg. This can damage the skin leading to ulcers and leg wounds.  Treatments for superficial venous disease have improved significantly and are safe, effective, and affordable. They range from wearing compression socks to office-based interventions.  Evaluation and management by a vascular specialist are recommended.

In general, if you have a family history of blood clots or venous disease, make sure to tell your doctor so they can watch for early signs and symptoms to prevent complications. It is important to monitor your own legs, watch for skin changes or swelling, and stay active.

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