While it’s incredibly complex as a unit, your cardiovascular system is made up of a few parts that can be relatively easily identified. With your heart, arteries, and veins, you have a basic understanding of what the system is made of. We know that the heart pumps blood throughout the body with arteries carrying oxygenated blood away from the heart and veins bringing oxygen-depleted blood back. However, if you have conditions that make it difficult for your blood to flow through that system, you can have major health issues now or in the future. There are a variety of vein conditions that can put you at risk of developing severe medical conditions. To help you learn more about these and how they’re treated, read our guide that demonstrates the importance of visiting a vein specialist at Champion Heart and Vascular Center.
Your blood is meant to clot. This is what helps your body develop a scab and keeps you from bleeding out if you get a paper cut. It’s a necessary mechanism for your body to keep pathogens out and blood in with even the simplest of injuries. But blood clots inside your body can be dangerous.
Blood clots can develop in your veins if you sustain an injury or sometimes if your blood is thickened by high cholesterol. This can be dangerous as a blood clot that sits on the wall of your veins can come loose and flow into your heart, lungs, or brain and cause further complications.
If you have blood clots, they’re often treated by using blood thinners (anticoagulants) that are either administered orally or via injection. The method of administration often depends on the location or severity of the clot. Surgery to insert a catheter or stent is also possible.
Varicose and spider veins
It’s not uncommon to develop varicose veins as you age. This is the result of the outer wall of the vein weakening and not moving blood efficiently. The appearance of varicose veins is the result of blood pooling and veins swelling, which is why they’re commonly developed in the calves of those who stand for long periods. It can be uncomfortable and painful if it goes untreated.
Compression stockings are often recommended as a first-line treatment to help the veins compress and push blood back up toward the heart. Although, more advanced cases of varicose and spider veins can require sclerotherapy. This is where a vein specialist injects a solution or foam directly into the veins. This causes the veins to scar and closes then eventually fade. This treatment might need to be performed multiple times.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
A thrombosis is a blood clot that blocks either a vein or an artery. Deep vein thrombosis is when a clot develops specifically in the arm or legs. While the thrombosis itself isn’t harmful, it can be uncomfortable. This often causes swelling in the arm or leg where it’s developed as well as tenderness or warmness to the touch. Like any blood clot, the danger of DVT comes with the risk of thrombosis getting dislodged from the vein and flowing into the lungs. This becomes a pulmonary embolism and can be life-threatening.
Because DVT is a type of blood clot, treatment is similar as blood thinners are often the first treatment. Compression stockings can help to keep a thrombosis from developing in your legs in the future as well.
Schedule an appointment
If you’re worried that you have a vein condition, don’t put off seeing a vein specialist. Get in touch with our team today at Champion Heart and Vascular Center to schedule an appointment. You can reach us by calling your nearby clinic. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to send us a message using our online contact form.