Many people think of the visual of varicose veins — raised, ropey, swollen, purplish or knotted veins — but may not realize that feelings they are experiencing may be vein disease symptoms. They may just think what they are feeling is normal. The following are symptoms from vein disease:
- Aching, throbbing or generalized pain in the leg
- Fatigue and heaviness in the leg, a tired or heavy sensation
- Tingling, itching and burning
- Tenderness in legs and around veins
- Swelling in legs. Vein problems are 8 to 10 times more likely to cause swelling in the legs than other causes combined.
Symptoms of varicose veins usually progress over time without treatment.
Complications of Untreated Vein Disease
Without treatment, symptoms may progress to more serious complications. The most serious complications of vein disease are thrombosis or phlebitis.
- Phlebitis is inflammation of a vein caused by a blood clot. With superficial phlebitis, the clot is in a vein below skin’s surface.
- Blood clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. They can break loose and cause a pulmonary embolism in the lung, or heart attack or stroke.
- Sores or skin ulcers are later stages of vein disease. These are sores that are slow to heal or do not heal. Skin may also turn reddish or brownish.
- Bleeding. Vein bleeding can be difficult to control. It may require emergency room (ER) or hospital treatment.
How are Vein Problems or Venous Insufficiency Diagnosed?
Vein disease diagnosis in our office is simple and noninvasive. First, your health history is discussed, and then a brief physical exam follows. While you stand comfortably upright, the best position for assessing vein health, an ultrasound wand is moved over legs which have had water-soluble gel applied to them. The probe follows the course of the veins and sends sound wave images to a monitor. Our trained staff records the results and performs some simple motions to assess the venous circulation.
How to Prepare for the Ultrasound Test
We provide cloth shorts or you way wear your own. The area must be visible and able to be accessed with an ultrasound transducer. No other preparations are necessary; the diagnostics are quick and thorough.
For more information, or to set up an appointment, call our vein center in St. Louis today!