Venous diseases are a common cause of death and disability. These include an array of disorders which include deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), venous aneurysms, venous insufficiency, and chronic venous conditions such as May-Thurner syndrome, a rare condition in which there is compression of the common femoral vein.
A number of factors can contribute to the risk of DVT. These include prior DVT or clotting disorders; trauma; recent major surgery; medical problems, including cancer and blood diseases; immobilization; obesity, and others.
Inflammation is thought to play a role as well as damage to the venous valves from the thrombus itself. Valvular incompetence combined with persistent venous obstruction from thrombus increases the pressure in veins and capillaries causing venous hypertension. The occurrence of venous hypertension induces rupture of small superficial veins, subcutaneous hemorrhage and an increase of localized tissue fluid. This can cause discernible pain, swelling, discoloration, and ulceration.
Signs and symptoms of venous disease in the leg may include, but not limited to:
- Pain (aching or cramping)
- Itching or tingling
- Swelling (edema)
- Varicose veins
- Brownish or reddish skin discoloration
Venous Blood Clots
Venous blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), are blood clots that form in a vein in your body, usually in your lower legs. A blood clot can form when your blood gets thick and clumps together. The danger with DVT is that the blood clot can break off and travel to your lungs, where it may block blood flow.
Lack of movement may make you more likely to get DVT. This is because when you’re not moving around regularly, your blood flows more slowly. Other risk factors include a history of DVT, pregnancy, injury to a vein, being older than 60 years of age, being overweight or obese, and smoking. If you have DVT, you may feel pain or swelling in that part of your body, redness, or warmth and tenderness over the vein.
Treatment for DVT includes breaking up the blood clot and preventing new blood clots from forming. To prevent or treat DVT, your doctor may prescribe a blood-thinning medicine called an anticoagulant. If you can’t take anticoagulants, your doctor may insert a filter into your vena cava vein. This filter will catch any blood clots before they travel to your lungs; however, it will not prevent new clots from forming. Your doctor may also suggest you wear compression stockings on your legs to both prevent and treat blood clots. The compression stockings apply pressure to your legs, which helps prevent your blood from clotting.