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Leg Swelling (edema)

There are many causes of leg swelling, also known as “edema” and the treatments are quite different. It’s important to find the cause so the right treatment can be used. With CVD, the veins can’t drain the blood from the legs fast enough, so the legs swell. Treatment for this kind of swelling is to identify and treat the underlying vein problems.

What Is Edema

Leg swelling , or “edema”, can be caused by a number of medical conditions, including problems with the heart, liver, and kidneys. Chronic Venous Disease (CVD) can also cause leg swelling. In fact, swelling is one of the signs of more advanced venous disease.

Veins drain the used blood from the body back to the heart. In order to fight gravity and keep the blood flowing from the feet up to the heart, veins are equipped with one-way valves. With CVD, some of those one-way valves become leaky. When this happens in the legs, blood will drain more slowly, which causes the legs to swell.

Figuring out the cause of a patient’s swelling can be difficult. Often, a patient will have more than one cause of the swelling. At Vein Specialists of Illinois our vascular technologists will perform a detailed ultrasound study to look for diseased veins as a source of the swelling. If vein problems are found, treatment options will be discussed.



Patient Testimonials

"I am an airline attendant and sometimes stand 12-14 hours a day. I was experiencing many of the symptoms associated with varicose vein disease (leg cramps at night, aching legs and swollen ankles). I could see smaller bulging veins, but did…" -- Sophia W.

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