Venous Disease and Varicose Veins
Veins are the vessels that carry blood back toward the heart after it has fueled your body with oxygen. You may need treatment if damage occurs to the vein walls or the tiny one-way valves that keep blood moving in the right direction. Treatment is also important because it prevents serious complications such as blood clots and ulcers (open sores).
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is the development of blood clots in a deep vein, meaning a vein in your leg or pelvic area. More than 60,000 people die from untreated DVT every year. This condition affects one in 500 people. In those more than 80 years of age, the prevalence is as high as one in 100. DVT clots may form because of:
- Traumatic injury
- Sitting or lying down for too long (such as on a long flight)
- Family history
- Pregnancy, which increases your risk temporarily
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include:
- Leg swelling
- Pain, tightness, or tenderness in the leg at rest or while walking or standing
- Skin color that is pale red or blue or white
- Warm skin
- Slight fever
- Rapid heart beat
DVT Diagnosis and Treatment
We use state-of-the-art tools to help diagnose DVT early, including:
- Duplex ultrasound
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Blood tests
DVT Therapy: Preventing Complications
Our goal is to use the most effective and least invasive treatment methods available. Treating DVT is important because it also helps to avoid complications such as:
- Post-thrombotic syndrome, a series of symptoms including pain, swelling and cramps.
- Pulmonary embolism (PE), the most serious complication of DVT. PE occurs when a clot breaks free from an artery and lodges in your lungs. PE can cause your heart and lungs to collapse, which is very dangerous.
- Varicose veins and spider veins.
Varicose Veins & Spider Veins
Varicose veins are swollen surface veins that are often visible through the skin on your legs and may appear blue, bulging or twisted. They occur when the vein walls or valves become weakened, usually from age. Spider veins are a mild variation of varicose veins and tend to look web-like on the skin. Varicose and spider veins can be unsightly and painful, which makes treatment a good idea.
The board certified vascular surgeons at the Charlottesville Vein Center are experts in the treatment of varicose and spider veins.