Capitol Vein Blog

Monday, May 14, 2012

An Unusual Cause of Leg Swelling: Case Study

A patient at CVL's Leesburg, Virginia office came to us after many months of ankle and foot swelling. She had been to numerous other physicians and had many tests, none of which indicated a medical problem. Yet, the swelling was so extreme that she had to buy two different pairs of shoes because the left  was so tight!

As part of the standard testing for patients with leg or foot swelling, we ordered a venous ultrasound scan. This test looks specifically at the direction of blood flow in the leg. The reversal of flow in the veins, often seen with varicose veins, can lead to swelling even in the absence of visible varicosities.

This patient's ultrasound showed a strong suggestion of vein compression in the pelvic region, a recognized process leading to leg swelling. The condition is known as May-Thurner Syndrome, which involves compression of a left iliac vein in the pelvic region. It is easily treated on an outpatient basis, using a small stent placed in the problematic vein.

Interestingly, this medical condition is not widely appreciated as a cause of leg or foot swelling, as awareness of it as a possible cause requires a deeper knowledge of venous disease than even most well-trained physicians possess. When seeking treatment for varicose veins or leg swelling, be sure to seek advice from a specialist in venous disease - that is, a board certified phlebologist. Many specialists are starting to treat varicose veins, but your best choice is a vascular specialist who has spent many years pursing the treatment of venous problems.

If you have questions about your own leg veins or would like to arrange a free evaluation, please see us at any of the Virginia, Maryland or West Virginia locations.


Compression Socks said...

My varicose veins were getting out of hand and I wanted something to wear to help the swelling of my feet and legs. Compression socks and varicose veins stockings were a great solution for anyone looking for non-invasive ways to treat it!

Shelly Wilks said...

I have just reading about varicose veins is an unusual cause of leg swelling case study. I have found here so many helpful instructions about how to get rid of ugly veins from my legs. I hope that I can prevent my leg veins by using such information. Thanks!

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