Is Leg Swelling that Comes and Goes a Sign of Venous Insufficiency?

Have you noticed swelling in your legs that comes and goes? This could be a sign of venous insufficiency. If you have this condition, your veins have trouble carrying blood from your legs back to the heart. This causes the blood to pool in your legs, leading to swelling. The swelling generally gets worse throughout the day and might go away at night. Then, the cycle restarts the next morning. 

Let’s take a closer look at this so you can determine if you have venous insufficiency or another medical condition. Then, find out how you can treat venous insufficiency.

How Many Limbs Are Swollen?

If both legs are swollen, venous insufficiency can still be the cause, but other causes of leg swelling need to be considered. You might be retaining fluid or experiencing a side effect from a medication. The problem also might be related to your heart, liver, or kidneys.

If only one leg is swollen, the problem is likely due to venous insufficiency, an infection, an injury, or lymphatic failure. Thus, you need to look for other signs to determine if it’s venous insufficiency.

Other Signs of Venous Insufficiency

Swelling that comes and goes is just one of the numerous signs of venous insufficiency.  Many people also experience a tight feeling in their calves, along with itchy legs.  Venous insufficiency also causes pain that may improve with exercise or elevating the symptomatic leg.  Cramps and muscle spasms are also common with this condition. 

You might feel an overwhelming need to move your legs when you have venous insufficiency. This would be considered restlessness.  Also, people with this condition are prone to developing leg ulcers. Often, these ulcers become a chronic issue and respond best when treated early.

Finally, varicose veins and brownish skin close to the ankles are signs of venous insufficiency. You should consult with a varicose veins specialist if you notice these symptoms.

Getting Treatment for Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency

Varicose vein treatment closes the abnormal veins with damaged valves, so blood can flow to the heart with less blood pooling.  This is usually followed by significant improvement of symptoms of venous insufficiency including pain, swelling, cramping, restlessness and other symptoms of venous insufficiency. 

Due to advancements in varicose vein treatment, procedures are now fast and easy. In fact, most minimally invasive treatments take less than 30 minutes to perform and do not require downtime.

If you’re interested in undergoing treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Vinay Madan at the Center for Varicose Veins. Dr. Madan offers radiofrequency ablation (RFA), VenaSeal, endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), Varithena, and sclerotherapy. 

Author
Dr. Vinay Madan, MD, DABVLM Dr. Vinay Madan, MD, DABVLM Dr. Vinay Madan is a board certified Interventional Radiologist and Phlebologist with over 25 years of experience in treating vein disease. Dr. Madan has served as the Chairman of Radiology and Section Head of Vascular Interventional Radiology at Eastern Connecticut Health Network. Dr. Madan brings a wealth of knowledge which allows him to treat patients with cosmetic and medical vein disease in a caring and compassionate way.

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