Venous Disease is a general term that refers to any condition that causes abnormalities in the veins. Your arteries carry blood from the heart to vital areas throughout the body. Your veins then carry the blood back to the heart.
The valves located within those veins are responsible for the flow of blood and making sure it travels in one direction. Damage to the vein valve, Venous Disease, interrupts these processes which can result in a myriad of health problems.
In this article, we want to inform you of the various types of venous disease, the treatment options, and what you can do to prevent them.
Clotting is a natural process that prevents the body from allowing too much blood to escape when a wound occurs. When blood vessels are damaged, platelets in your blood begin to close off the area as intended. Your body performs chemical processes that both allow the clot to grow to an appropriate size, and then break it down later.
Deep Vein Thrombosis DVT
DVT is a blood clot that occurs deep inside of the arms or legs. While DVT in itself is not lethal, problems rapidly occur if the clot breaks free and travels further into the body. The clot can then potentially become stuck in smaller vessels causing a blockage.
If you have a blood clot in the leg veins, you may experience warmth or leg swelling. When DVT travels to the pulmonary arteries in your lungs, it can cause what is known as a Pulmonary Embolism.
This type of clot usually comes from a DVT that travels into the lungs. You may or may not show immediate symptoms in the case of a lung blockage. Those who do experience symptoms typically feel shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, or even cough up blood. A pulmonary embolism, if not treated promptly, can be deadly.
Treatment for Blood Clots
Anytime a blood clot occurs, doctors will typically prescribe blood thinning medications with the aim of breaking up the clot and improving blood flow. In some cases, they may employ minimally invasive procedures such as thrombectomy. They will locate the clot with X-Ray devices and remove the clot all at once using a catheter.
Regular physical activity will encourage blood flow and work to prevent clotting. If you have a medical history of blood clots, wearing compression stockings can also help to prevent clotting and DVT.
Varicose Veins / Spider Veins
Varicose veins, also called spider veins, are a type of venous disease that can be seen in swollen veins that appear under the skin. As explained previously, valves in the veins make sure the blood flows in one direction. Damages to the valves can cause pooling of blood in the veins. The veins then swell and cause the visual appearance.
Varicose veins are unfortunately common and appear more frequently in females, the elderly, and those with a family history of this issue. They are not deadly but can often be painful due to swelling. Symptoms can potentially be relieved with diet and exercise.
The old method of removal was a process of vein stripping which required anesthesia and multiple incisions. Now, minimally invasive procedures involving injections and laser technology can alleviate varicose veins.
Ulcers can occur typically below the knee around bony areas such as the ankle. Damages to the valves make it difficult for the veins to send blood back to the heart and increases pressure in the area. Ulcers are consistent open sores that struggle to heal, may bleed frequently, appear discolored, and become infected.
The treatment for leg ulcers usually includes anti-inflammatory and antibiotics for infection. You’ll also want to wear compression bandages and exercise the affected body part every day to promote healing.
Handle Venous Disease with Vascular Management Associates
Blood clots can be frightening, but they don’t always have to be. Vascular Management Associates is a team of medical experts that specializes in minimally invasive procedures to assist with Venous Disease as well as Peripheral Arterial Disease and End Stage Renal Disease. Contact us today to speak with our 5-star staff about how we can help you improve your health.