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Oct 31, 2022

Tips for Resolving Occupational-Related Vascular Insufficiency

Sponsored Content provided by Dr. Thomas Beadle - Vascular Surgeon, Cape Fear Valley - Vascular Specialists

Cape Fear Valley Health System has a top-notch vascular surgery team that provides evaluation and non-invasive treatments for various symptoms associated with venous insufficiency and venous disease.

There are a range of venous disorders that can lead to vein damage and restricted blood flow. Chronic venous disease occurs when the veins in your legs are not working effectively and it becomes increasingly difficult for blood to pass through them. This can result in symptoms such as leg swelling, lesions on the ankles and legs, and varicose veins.

Venous insufficiency is commonly linked to occupational settings. People working in certain professions where they are on their feet or sitting for extended amounts of time are more likely to develop venous disease. Surgeons, teachers, truck drivers, and office workers who sit at their desks all day are some of the workers who are more prone to venous disease due to standing or sitting for long periods without frequent opportunities to exercise their legs.

Both men and women are susceptible to developing venous disease. While affecting people of all ages, the condition is common in younger people who have no other health concerns but whose profession or daily activities keep them in a fixed position where their blood circulation is limited. Conditions such as obesity or pregnancy can also contribute to the development of venous disease. The good news is venous disease is treatable with noninvasive options, as well as simple outpatient procedures.

There are several precautions you can take to avoid venous disease or to help manage a mild condition. For instance, if your job requires you to be sitting or standing in one place for a long period, make sure to take frequent breaks to move around to promote blood circulation. Wearing compression socks and frequently elevating your legs are some additional steps you can take to help reduce your risk of developing venous disease.

In some cases, it is appropriate to seek medical attention for symptoms of venous disease. For instance, if you observe leg swelling that does not quickly resolve or if you see bulging varicose veins, schedule an appointment with a vascular physician. If you catch it early, most cases can be improved with noninvasive options. 

When you make an appointment with one of our vascular specialists, your first office visit will likely include an ultrasound of your legs to evaluate your veins and blood flow. Using the painless and non-invasive ultrasound wand, the vascular physician will look for any blood clots in your veins that could be obstructing blood flow. The physician will also look for signs of backward blood flow, pooling of blood, and other symptoms that signal venous insufficiency.

If treatment is needed beyond the steps recommended above of compression socks, leg elevation and increased movement, the doctor will treat you in an office-based outpatient setting. A potential treatment on veins that are not functioning well is sclerotherapy, which is injecting the veins with a solution that closes the affected veins. The blood flow then reroutes through healthier veins and the closed veins are eventually absorbed into the body.

Remember that symptoms of venous insufficiency and venous disease are very treatable. Make sure you are taking the recommended steps to promote good blood flow. See a vascular physician if you continue to experience problems such as frequent leg swelling and worsening varicose veins. Seeking evaluation and treatment early can help you avoid larger problems like skin wounds down the line.

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