Venous Disease at O’Donnell Vein & Medical Spa – Serving the Chesapeake Bay Area, including Annapolis, Kent Island, Easton, Chestertown, Salisbury and Delaware.
Venous disease is a blanket term that encompasses a number of vein conditions. It is a common problem that affects at least 50% of the total population, with women diagnosed with the condition more frequently than men. As the body ages, venous disease becomes more prevalent in the general population, with as many as half of all adults over the age of 50 experiencing at least some of the symptoms of the condition.
Cause of Venous Disease
The veins are the vessels in the body responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. This job becomes rather challenging for the veins in the lower legs, which must work against the force of gravity to pump blood back up the legs to the heart. Tiny valves in the veins that are responsible for keeping the blood flowing in the same direction can become damaged and start to wear out.
As these valves become less efficient at managing blood flow, blood can pool in the lower legs. This process results in symptoms of heaviness, aching, fatigue, and sometimes cramping, throbbing and restless legs at night. In younger patients affected by the disease, there may a lack of visible veins on the skin and only leg discomfort. As the condition progresses spider veins and varicose veins are more likely present. Advanced disease is associated with skin color and texture changes below the knee to the ankle, and possibly venous ulcers.
Contributing Factors of Venous Disease
Risk factors for developing venous disease include:
- Gender (women are more likely to be diagnosed with venous disease)
- Advancing age
- Excessive weight, including weight gain during pregnancy
- Hormonal fluctuations, such as those experienced during pregnancy
- Occupations that involve prolonged periods of standing or sitting
If you have a family member with venous disease you are much more likely to develop the condition. Knowing the risk factors allows you to be more vigilant in watching for early symptoms of the condition. Early diagnosis is recommended in determining the best treatment plan.
Symptoms of Venous Disease
Venous disease results in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Patients become more symptomatic at the end of the day, after prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Symptoms of venous disease include:
- Aching and heaviness in the lower legs
- Swelling in the lower legs, ankles and feet
- Leg cramping, especially at night
- Itching or burning skin around affected veins
- Restless leg syndrome
- Discoloration of the skin in the lower legs
- Open sores around the ankles, known as venous ulcers
The good news is that vein treatments will eliminate most of these uncomfortable symptoms almost immediately, especially aching, heaviness and fatigue. Burning and itching in spider veins usually resolves within one treatment. Skin discoloration often lightens, but typically does not completely resolve. Eliminating venous reflux allow venous ulcers to heal more quickly, and recurrence of ulceration is rare.
Treatment for Venous Disease
At O’Donnell Vein and Medical Spa, we offer a variety of treatments for venous disease. Most procedures are minimally invasive and require no downtime afterward. Insurance usually covers the cost of symptomatic venous disease.
Your specific treatment protocol will depend on the type and severity of symptoms you are experiencing, as well as the size and location of your spider and varicose veins.
Please contact us to schedule your new patient appointment (410) 643-1999. O’Donnell Vein & Medical Spa is conveniently located in Easton Maryland and in Chester Maryland, just across the Chesapeake bay from Annapolis.