Veins are blood vessels that transport blood to the heart. Veins have thin walls, and venous blood flow is under much less pressure than that of the arteries. Venous problems occur when vein walls and valves become damaged and blood flow to the heart is strained or disrupted.
The three main types of venous problems are varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
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Symptoms of Venous Problems
Venous problems can cause symptoms in the feet and legs, including:
- Aches and pains
- Slow healing wounds
- Varicose veins
Causes of Venous Problems
The veins contain one-way valves designed to keep blood flowing toward the heart. Sometimes, these valves become damaged and don’t work properly, causing blood to pool in the veins. The problem is compounded by weak veins that balloon out. The stagnant blood eventually causes the surrounding tissue to swell. Swelling is most noticeable in the legs because the heart and venous system must work against gravity to return blood back to the heart.
Treatment & Prevention of Venous Problems at Dignity Health
When you come to see one of our specialists, treatment strategies focus on reducing swelling, restoring vein function, and preventing complications like blood clots. Blood clots can be life threatening, such as when a blood clot from a vessel in the leg breaks loose and travels to another vessel in the lungs. Common treatments for venous problems include compression hosiery and devices, medications, and sometimes surgical procedures. We’ll work with you to find a treatment that fits your unique needs.
To improve blood flow, try resting with your legs elevated, and make sure to get plenty of exercise.
Dignity Health provides complete care for cardiovascular conditions, including venous problems, in Southern California.