Vascular issues are to blame for many cases of leg pain, discomfort, and discoloration. Interventional Radiologists specialize in vascular issues and have helped develop some of the most advanced minimally invasive procedures for these serious problems.
Varicose Veins (Heavy, aching, swelling)
Most varicose veins happen in the legs and feet and can be attributed to venous insufficiency. This common condition results from blood pooling in the veins due to decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart. In healthy veins, one-way valves keep blood flowing toward the heart against the force of gravity. When the valves become weak and do not close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux. Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness, become elongated, rope-like, bulged, and thickened. These enlarged, swollen vessels are known as varicose veins and are a direct result of increased pressure from reflux. Spider veins are a mild case of varicose vein where small veins become apparent just under the skin.
All of AMI’s treatments rid the legs of problem veins through a non-invasive procedures that utilizes the body’s natural healing abilities. This means patients will be back to looking and feeling good faster.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (Venous Thromboembolism [VTE])
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, in the deep leg vein. It is a very serious condition that can cause permanent damage to the leg, known as post-thrombotic syndrome. Clots can also break off and traveling to the lung, causing life-threatening heart failure, known as a pulmonary embolism. When the circulation of the blood slows down due to illness, injury or inactivity, blood can accumulate or “pool”, which provides an ideal setting for clot formation. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include discoloration of the legs, swelling of the leg or lower limb, visible surface veins, calf or leg pain or tenderness, warm skin, and leg fatigue. Risk factors are family history of DVT, immobility, recent surgery, being over the age of 40, hormone therapy or oral contraceptives, pregnancy or post-partum, previous or current cancer, limb trauma, and obesity.
Patients should first speak with their primary physician about treatment options. Early in treatment, blood thinners are given to keep the clot from growing or breaking. If pain continues beyond seven days, patients should request a referral to an AMI Interventional Radiologist who will determine if catheter-directed thrombolysis treatment is required to prevent permanent leg damage.