Vein disorders are not just limited to varicose veins but also include many other conditions such as phlebitis, DVT and leg ulcers that affect the health of millions of Americans. About 2.5 million people suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. Vein ulcers affect close to 500,000 people and each year pulmonary embolism kills 50,000.
Phlebitis is one of the most common complications of varicose veins. A clot developing in these superficial veins does not travel to the heart or much beyond a short distance within the varicosity. The first sign of phlebitis is pain along the involved vein. The skin over the vein becomes red and is warm to the touch.
Phlebitis is treated with elevation, moist heat, compression stockings and analgesics for pain. Usually phlebitis will go away in about two to six weeks. Patients who have repeated events of phlebitis will need to have their varicose veins treated.
Blood Clot in the Leg or Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the development of clots in the deep veins of the leg. In the US about 600,000 patients are treated each year in hospitals with this problem.
Patients have swelling and discomfort of the calf when these veins are completely clotted. If the clot goes into the thigh, the entire leg becomes very swollen and painful. An ultrasound will show the doctor if there is a clot within the deep veins and how far it has moved up the leg. Most patients can be treated with LOVENOX, a blood thinner given by injection.
Leg Ulcers or Venous Stasis Ulcer
Ulcers form on the legs of patients with long standing chronic venous insufficiency. Brownish discoloration develops over time followed by dryness and scaliness that causes severe itching that contributes to the formation of painful ulcers.
A complete vascular exam is done to rule out blockage in the arteries of the leg. The treatment of patients with leg ulcers is surgical debridement of non-viable tissue in the ulcer bed followed by the placement of a compression stocking or Unna’s boot. With this regimen over 90% of the leg ulcers are healed in less than six months.
The Capital Region Vein Centre uses the most advanced treatments to improve the quality of life for people suffering from vein disorders.