Blood pooling in the leg veins causes pain, swelling, and other circulation problems. The good news is that you can do something about it.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) refers to a range of symptoms that result from blood pooling in the leg veins. Varicose veins and swelling are two of the most common signs of CVI, but blood pooling in your lower limbs can also cause pain.
But what causes blood pooling to happen? Tiny valves open and close inside your veins to push blood back to the heart. Age, heredity, obesity, and even gender can cause the valves to lose strength and elasticity. When the valves weaken, blood flow becomes sluggish and pools in the veins, which become swollen. As a result, pain, leg swelling, and other complications develop. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent blood from pooling and the pain that comes with it.
What does blood pooling feel like?
CVI is quite common. According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, the condition affects up to 40 percent of the population.
As mentioned earlier, the underlying cause of CVI is blood pooling in the leg veins. As the blood builds up in the veins, it can lead to a persistent dull ache or ongoing pain in the legs, which may become more pronounced when you sit or stand for a long time.
Cramping and an overall sensation of heaviness in the leg are other characteristics of CVI. While varicose veins may not always be visible, you may notice swollen ankles and calves as CVI progresses.
Why blood pooling must be treated
You don’t have to live with swelling and pain when treatments are readily available! CVI treatment will not only relieve the pain and swelling but also prevent serious complications from developing, including:
Bleeding. A varicose vein near the skin’s surface can bleed profusely from any minor bump or cut.
Skin changes. CVI blocks nourishing blood from reaching the skin. As a result, skin cannot heal and may turn flaky, itchy, and discolored. If left untreated, the skin may break out into a venous ulcer, which is difficult to heal, especially if it becomes infected.
Blood clots. An excessive pooling of blood raises the chance of a clot. A clot that forms in a deep vein (also known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) will show signs of swelling in one leg, tender and warm skin, and pain. DVT requires urgent care, as the clot could break free and lodge itself in the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
You can temporarily relieve swollen ankles and calves with non-surgical treatments, such as wearing compression stockings or elevating your leg above your heart for as little as fifteen minutes. Both methods promote circulation, which can reduce swelling and pain.
But to eliminate CVI symptoms, a minimally invasive surgical procedure may be necessary. These outpatient treatments use thermal heat, or a safe solution called a sclerosant, to destroy the diseased vein and reroute blood to healthier veins. As your circulation improves, you’ll also notice that the pain from blood pooling will disappear.
Visit Center for Vein Restoration in Texas
Residents of the Austin, Texas, area don’t have to go far for expert vein care. Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) operates two vein care centers in Austin, Texas, to treat all stages of vein disease.
Leading both offices is Aditya Gupta, MD, RPVI, DABVLM, an experienced vein physician who holds board certification in Internal Medicine and Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Dr. Gupta draws on his years of experience and knowledge to work with you on a treatment plan tailored to your lifestyle and needs.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gupta or to speak with a representative, visit www.centerforvein.com.
Don't live near our Austin CVR locations? No problem! With over 100 vein clinic locations in 22 states and the District of Columbia, there's sure to be a CVR vein center near you.
11111 Research Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78759
7900 Farm to Market Road 1826
Building 1, Suite 170
Austin, TX 78737