What Is Vein Disease?
Veins play a crucial role in circulating blood throughout the body by carrying oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. The term “vein disease” refers to a group of medical conditions related to these flexible, hollow tubes. Many venous conditions develop when one or more veins—particularly in the legs—become weakened or damaged.
Often, vein disease occurs when the one-way valves inside the leg veins malfunction. Normally, these tiny valves work in conjunction with the calf muscles as the muscles contract and relax to regulate the flow of blood. When a vein valve malfunctions, however, some of the blood en route to the heart may flow backward and pool in the vein.
Risk factors for vein disease include advanced age, obesity, genetics, high blood pressure, pregnancy, prolonged sitting or standing, and oral contraceptive use. If left untreated, a venous disorder can lead to potentially serious complications, such as blood clots, so it is important to promptly seek specialized medical attention if symptoms develop. Vein911® Vein Treatment Center is the authority on vein disease in Tampa, Florida. Our experienced team specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of venous issues.
What Are the Warning Signs of Vein Disease?
Vein disease is common. According to the American Vein & Lymphatic Society, up to 80 million people in the United States have it in some form or another. Although mild cases are not usually problematic, it is still important to seek medical attention for symptoms such as:
- Visible veins – Darkened, bulging, or twisted veins that can be seen just below the surface of the skin, usually in the legs
- Leg pain or discomfort – Cramping, aching, throbbing, itching, or burning sensations in the legs, especially after prolonged sitting or standing
- Lymphedema – Swelling in the lower legs and ankles, which may worsen throughout the day
- Skin changes – Irritation, dryness, discoloration, or ulceration around the affected veins
- Leg fatigue – A feeling of tiredness or heaviness in the legs, even after minimal activity
- Restless legs – An irresistible urge to move the legs, typically in the evenings
What Are the Types of Vein Disease?
Vein disorders can range from purely aesthetic issues to potentially serious medical conditions that can be a precursor to severe complications. The various forms of vein disease include:
- Spider veins – Small, painless, web-like clusters of red, blue, or purple veins on the legs or face, which may be a cosmetic concern
- Varicose veins – Enlarged, swollen, and knotted veins, which may be visible in the legs and sometimes cause discomfort
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) – A long-term condition in which the veins do not effectively pump blood, leading to leg swelling, pain, ulcers and skin changes
- Venous ulcers – Open sores on the skin near the ankles, which may accompany CVI
- Thrombophlebitis – Inflammation of a superficial or deep vein due to a blood clot
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – A blood clot in a deep vein, which can potentially dislodge, travel through the bloodstream to the brain or lungs and cause a life-threatening stroke or pulmonary embolism
- May-Thurner syndrome – A bulging artery that compresses a vein in the pelvis
- Pelvic congestion syndrome – Painfully enlarged veins in the pelvis, particularly in women
Talk With a Vein Doctor
If you have symptoms of vein disease, you can consult with a vascular specialist at Vein911® Vein Treatment Center. After evaluating your venous issue, we can suggest a customized treatment plan to relieve your discomfort (if any) and improve the appearance of your veins. Contact us today to book a consultation in Tampa, FL, where you can learn about the vein treatment options we offer and find out which approach may be right for you.