While more than 30 million Americans suffer from varicose veins and the more serious form of venous disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), only 1.9 million seek treatment each year.1,2,3 If the vein disease is left untreated, varicose veins can progress to become CVI with symptoms that worsen over time. The good news is that diagnosing and treating vein disease early can stop progression.
Below are some of the most common vein conditions treated by Dr. Franciosa at Vein Nevada in Reno.
Venous flow in the legs consists of superficial “saphenous” and deep “femoral and popliteal” components and their tributaries.
When a person shifts from a horizontal to a vertical position, blood stored in the abdominal and pelvic veins is prevented from “falling” down the leg by rapid closure of functioning valves.
Abnormal vein flow occurs when stress is placed on the valves by the force of gravity (hydrostatic pressure) and also from episodic pressure increases caused by straining or coughing. As the vein stretches, the valve starts to leak or “reflux”. More about Venous Disease here.
Varicose veins are caused by poor circulation in the legs, typically as a result of damage to the valves in the veins. Veins along the inside of the leg and the back of the calf are most commonly affected. Varicose veins can be associated with symptoms of pain, aches, heaviness, restless legs, or burning and itching of the skin.
While varicose veins have a wide spectrum of appearance, they have patterns of distribution that will be familiar to Dr. Franciosa. Varicose veins may be large, firm, blue and tender. Others may be less readily palpable and may have a more greenish appearance when located deeper within the skin. Telangiectasia, more commonly referred to as “spider veins” may be very fine and range in color from red to blue and even grey. More about Varicose Veins here.
The enlarged uterus may compress the abdominal and pelvic veins know as the inferior vena cava and the common iliac veins, respectively. Even before the uterus begins to enlarge significantly, hormonal factors cause the veins to become more compliant. Together with the increased venous pressure that occurs later in pregnancy, these factors cause significant venous distension and exaggerate the factors that predispose the patient to vein dysfunction. More about the effect of pregnancy on veins here.
Leg swelling is a common condition treated by Dr. Franciosa at Vein Nevada. Patients with venous insufficiency often have problems with leg swelling. More about leg swelling and vein disease here.
Some patients have venous pressure high enough to cause backflow from the deep system into the superficial system via cross bridging veins know as perforators. In the limb with this condition, proteins and cells leak out from the circulation into the spaces between cells.
At the skin surface, this causes a stimulus for inflammation which recruits cells that further escalate the inflammatory process. The result is fibrosis of the skin and ulcer formation. The cycle of ulcer formation and healing followed by recurrent ulceration results in further thickening of the skin and areas of scarring known as atrophie blanche. More about Venous Stasis Ulcers here.