Capitol Vein Blog

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leg Swelling and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Even in the absence of visible varicose veins, vein insufficiency can lead to leg swelling and restless leg syndrome (RLS). Normal flow in the leg veins is from the foot, upwards towards the groin. The veins need to be strong enough to resist gravitational pressure and drive the blood upward.  Weakness of the vein valves or vein wall can lead to an inability to push the blood up in the right direction. Consequently, you get backpressure (reflux) leading to leg heaviness, swelling and often restless leg syndrome. This can be known as C3 disease in the medical CEAP classification.
Fortunately, correction of the underlying vein problem is very easy, using either VNUS Closure or ClariVein. These two procedures, office based under local anesthesia and covered by most medical insurers, eliminate the backflow in the weak veins, allowing your normal veins to take over and normalize the leg circulation.
Interestingly, over 90% of patients with restless leg syndrome with a venous cause find their symptoms eliminated by treating the venous disease.  Venous reflux often leads to visible varicose veins, but for those with reflux and swelling alone, there is a very good option to help reduce or eliminate the problem.

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