12.22.11 Dr. Garth Rosenberg Swelling

Why Do Varicose Veins Cause Leg Swelling?

Varicose veins are a common cause of leg swelling because gravity creates backflow in leg veins. Normally, blood flows from the lower leg to the upper leg despite the constant force of gravity, yet with varicose veins in the legs, the one-way valves in the legs veins don’t function properly. As a result, as blood flows backward down the leg, and swelling can ensue as veins malfunction.

The usual cause of varicose veins in the legs is venous insufficiency in the saphenous vein. This is best treated with VNUS Closure or the ClariVein procedure. Both are office based, done under local anesthesia, and allow immediate return to normal activity. Importantly, most insurers cover these procedures, as there is a medical risk in not treating your varicose veins.

Complications of varicose veins include blood clots, restless leg syndrome (RLS), rashes in the lower leg, and skin ulcers. Treatment of the varicose veins with VNUS Closure, ClariVein, microphlebectomy or sclerotherapy is highly effective in correcting the backflow in the system and normalizing the leg circulation.

Once symptoms occur, we recommend evaluation with ultrasound and then with one of our vascular surgeons, Dr. Garth Rosenberg or Dr. Paul McNeill, at one of our regional comprehensive vein centers.

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