Other than visible varicose veins and spider veins, the most common symptom our New Jersey vascular doctor hears about from patients at our vein treatment center are chronically swollen legs and ankles. The swelling is called edema, and it is caused by the underlying vein disease that causes the swollen veins impairing the body’s ability to reabsorb fluids.
This chronic swelling is so common because it’s the third of six stages of a vein disease called chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. If you have CVI, it means that the tiny valves that control blood flow through your veins have become “leaky” and are allowing blood to flow “backwards” back into your veins. This causes the first two stages of the disease – first, that the diseased veins become visible on the surface of the skin, and second, that you start to feel tiredness or achiness in the affected limbs. The third stage is swelling.
As New Jersey vein experts, we tell patients who have experienced these first three stages of CVI that it’s time to seek treatment. Unfortunately, many patients ignore this medical advice, think “Hey, the swelling and the tiredness isn’t so bad…I can live with this,” and go away, hoping things will get better on their own, or just won’t get worse. Bad idea. In this article, we’ll tell you why.
Here’s what’s going to happen to you if you fail to seek treatment from a New Jersey vascular doctor
First, the three previously-mentioned disease stages are going to get worse, not better. That is, the swollen varicose veins will become bigger and more visible, the achiness and tiredness will increase, and the swelling will get worse.
But in the fourth stage of the disease, your skin starts to change, both in color and texture. The skin covering the diseased veins becomes reddish-brown or white, taking on a leathery texture that becomes more brittle, and thus more prone to injury. In the fifth stage of CVI, scratches and minor abrasions to this brittle skin are at increased risk for developing into ulcers. In the sixth stage, you develop leg ulcers that become resistant to treatment and have prolonged healing times.
That sounds bad — what can I do to prevent this?
Follow your doctors’ advice – seek treatment. If we catch the CVI early enough, modern vein disease treatment in New Jersey can often start with conservative forms of treatment such as diet, exercise, and the use of compression stockings. If the disease has progressed to later stages, eliminating it may require more aggressive treatments that involve removing the diseased veins entirely. But treatment CAN eliminate both the unsightliness and the swelling of CVI – quickly, easily, and painlessly. Putting off treatment will only cause the symptoms to get worse. So give our New Jersey vascular doctor a call at 201-693-4847 or go online and schedule an appointment…and make the right decision.