Leg Swelling

Vascular Specialists

Vascular Surgeons located in Tinley Park, IL & Evergreen Park, IL

Leg swelling can result when you have venous insufficiency characterized by spider and varicose veins. Venous insufficiency can cause serious health concerns if left untreated, so seek the expert attention of the team at Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park, Illinois, and Munster, Indiana,. The vascular surgeons evaluate your legs as well as your whole vascular system when providing treatment options. Call the office or book online if you suspect you have leg swelling due to venous insufficiency.

Leg Swelling Q & A

What is venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is a potentially serious condition in which blood doesn’t flow freely through your veins back to your lungs and heart. Veins feature valves that normally pump blood upward against gravity. If these valves falter, blood can’t flow and pools in your legs, causing varicose veins and leg swelling.

Other signs that you have venous insufficiency include:

  • Leg pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Leg heaviness
  • Leg ulcers
  • Changes in the color or texture of your skin

If gone untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to more serious health challenges.

What is iliac vein compression?

Iliac vein compression, also known as May-Thurner syndrome, involves two blood vessels that supply your legs. Normally, the arteries, which supply fresh blood to tissues and organs and veins, which return blood to your heart for filtering, cross without any incident. 

When you have iliac vein compression, however, your right iliac artery crosses your left iliac vein, squeezing the vein as they meet. Due to the pressure, blood can’t flow freely. You may experience leg swelling, and the condition greatly increases your chance of developing a deep vein thrombosis, a particularly serious type of blood clot.

How is leg swelling evaluated?

To determine if you have venous insufficiency, your doctor orders ultrasound testing. Ultrasound uses sound waves to provide a picture of the inside your body so your provider can evaluate the health of your valves. The practice also uses intravascular ultrasound to determine iliac vein compression.

How is leg swelling treated?

Mild leg swelling due to venous insufficiency may be treated with compression hose. If this intervention isn’t enough, your doctor may offer sclerotherapy. Your provider injects a saline-based solution into spider veins, causing them to shrink and disappear.

If you have more severe varicose veins, you may be a candidate for endovenous ablation. This technique uses radiofrequency or laser energy to seal damaged veins. The veins are absorbed by your body and blood redirects through healthy veins. Both sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation are performed in-office.

A stent is a common treatment for iliac vein compression. During this treatment, your doctor uses a catheter to access the left iliac vein. A stent (tiny tube) is inserted to keep the vein open so blood can flow smoothly.

If you have leg swelling, contact the experts at Vascular Specialists for evaluation and treatment. Call the office today or use this website to schedule your appointment.