Leg Swelling (Venous Insufficiency)

The veins in your legs are responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. In healthy individuals, one-way valves ensure that blood flows in the proper direction. In individuals with venous insufficiency, some of these valves malfunction, causing some blood in the affected veins to flow back down into the legs. This can cause leg swelling, pain, skin changes, and open sores (venous ulcers). With treatment, we can help you manage your venous insufficiency and alleviate leg swelling caused by this condition.

Causes of Leg Swelling Due to Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency that leads to leg swelling has many causes and risk factors. These include:

  • Family history of vein problems
  • Pregnancy (especially multiple pregnancies)
  • Other hormonal changes (such as menopause)
  • Obesity
  • Age (individuals over age 50 are at higher risk)
  • Gender (females are at higher risk)
  • Smoking
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg)
  • Personal history of blood clots
  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent standing or sitting in place for extended periods of time

Symptoms of Leg Swelling Due to Venous Insufficiency 

When a vein valve malfunctions, the backward blood flow can cause the vein to become varicose. Because veins have thin walls, this inflation of increased pressure causes varicose veins to take on a bulging, rope-like twisted appearance. Varicose veins most often form on the legs, and they may be isolated or appear connected to other varicose veins. Common symptoms of varicose veins include leg swelling, throbbing, fatigue, burning, itching, pain or aching, heaviness, restlessness, skin discoloration, and sometimes skin ulcers. Symptoms can worsen over time and may lead to chronic venous insufficiency, discoloration of the skin, superficial thrombophlebitis, and/or painful venous ulcers. 

Treatment for Leg Swelling Due to Venous Insufficiency

If you have leg swelling from venous insufficiency, getting treatment as soon as possible could save you from developing painful, poor-healing venous ulcers. Treatment can also prevent inflammation and varicose veins.

Varicose Veins

Treatment options include:

  • At-Home Treatments

  • Conservative Treatments

  • Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Surgical Treatments

Non-Surgical Treatments

In addition to conservative and at-home treatments, non-surgical treatments with one of our vein specialists may be necessary to provide sufficient treatment and relief of symptoms.

  • SclerotherapySclerotherapy treatment injects a sclerosant (a chemical irritant) into damaged veins, disabling the vein walls and causing the veins to gradually fade away. Sclerotherapy can be an effective way to disable spider veins and varicose veins that are causing leg swelling.
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment (EVLA)Using the 1470 laser system, we use laser energy to close off problematic veins that cause leg swelling. After a laser fiber is inserted into the vein, laser energy is transmitted into the vein and the fiber is withdrawn, causing the vein to close.

Our highly experienced staff can help you determine which treatments may be most effective for your specific situation.