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Foot, leg or ankle swelling are terms used to describe the accumulation of fluid in these regions of the body. This build up – medically referred to as peripheral edema – is usually painless and can be, in part, attributed to the effects of gravity. Edema, or swelling, is prevented by valves within veins that do not permit the backward flow of blood. As we age, these valves become weaker and allow the buildup of fluids. This condition, also known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease, is a common cause for foot, leg or ankle swelling and can lead to varicose veins. Although this accumulation is usually not associated with significant health risks, more serious underlying conditions such as infections and inflammation should be evaluated by a doctor.
Most common causes of foot, leg or ankle swelling – such as occupations with prolonged sitting or standing – can be relativity harmless and readily identified by your physician. Rarely, swelling can be a sign of more serious disorders involving the heart, lungs, kidneys and lymphatic systems making it important to seek diagnosis and treatment.
Some home remedies for foot, ankle or leg swelling include elevating the leg above the level of your heart, which can be done easily with pillows; staying active; reducing salt intake and improving your diet. It is important to visit your doctor in nonemergency situations so that the underlying cause of the edema, or swelling, can be identified and remedied.
Prolonged swelling can lead to varicose veins that may be associated with mild to severe pain. In other cases, varicose veins may only be a cosmetic concern but sometimes complications arise such as skin discoloration, blood clots and skin ulcers. Many treatments are currently available to prevent varicose veins and possible complications.
Valley Veins offers the most advanced diagnosis and treatment options available for patients with varicose veins. Treatment for varicose veins at Valley Veins is tailored for each patient depending on general health, age and the severity of the condition. We have expertise and experience in all types of varicose vein treatment, ranging from minimally-invasive to complex surgical procedures. Treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, endovenous thermal ablation (radiofrequency [VNUS] or laser), surgical vein stripping, endoscopic perforator vein surgery and other procedures. Patients may receive a combination of treatments, and most patients also use self-care therapies such as compression stockings. Valley Veins is at the forefront of newest option utilizing information from research studies in venous diseases, including varicose veins. We study the newest, most current treatments available for venous diseases. Venous specialists at Valley Veins successfully treat hundreds of patients each year with varicose veins. Currently, all insurance plans cover treatment for venous damage, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance plans, and Central Coast Alliance. A referral is not required for Medicare, Medi-Cal, or most PPO plans. Valley Veins does free varicose vein screening and information sessions. They may be contacted at (209) 656-7400.