Edema in your ankles, feet, and legs often stems from poor circulation in your legs. When leg veins start to fail, you could see symptoms like varicose veins along with the swelling that’s characteristic of the condition.
When left untreated, edema in your legs can lead to skin conditions, including ulcers, sensations like itching and pain, and difficulty with standing and walking. Dr. Clement Banda at MD Vein & Skin Specialists expertly treats edema at every stage of the condition.
Reasons for edema
The fluid that accumulates in your body and causes edema leaks from small blood vessels called capillaries. This can be mild and temporary, or it can develop into a serious, chronic condition. Women often experience edema along with other premenstrual symptoms or during pregnancy. Anyone can develop edema from too much salt in their diets or by sitting or standing for extended periods of time.
A wide range of medications include edema as a side effect. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Blood pressure controlling drugs
- Estrogen supplements
- Thiazonlidinediones, sometimes prescribed to treat diabetes
Edema can also emerge as part of serious diseases and conditions. Congestive heart failure reduces the efficiency of blood circulation. Some other medical conditions that aggravate edema are:
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Kidney damage or disease
- Lymphatic system problems
Gravity and sedentary life conditions can make it hard to drain excess fluids from your legs, regardless of the primary cause of your edema.
Treatments for edema
As with many medical conditions, treatment for edema usually starts with conservative methods and lifestyle changes. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet, increases of moderate exercise like walking and swimming, and periods of time with your legs elevated help your body to drain retained fluids. Compression stockings also serve to support the blood vessels in the legs, assisting drainage. If you don’t respond to these interventions, diuretic medications may be prescribed.
When more aggressive treatment becomes necessary for venous conditions, Dr. Banda recommends three minimally invasive procedures to remove varicose veins, based on the best fit for your condition.
An outpatient procedure using small incisions, ambulatory phlebectomy physically removes problem veins near the skin. Local anesthetic is all that’s necessary during the procedure, and recovery is uncomplicated.
Using heat delivered by a laser or small catheter device, Dr. Banda seals off a vein, causing the body to absorb the vein’s tissue while rerouting blood in the surrounding area. Endovenous ablation also involves small incisions and local anesthesia.
An injectable treatment, sclerotherapy introduces an irritant into the target veins that causes the blood vessel to close up. Once again, your body removes the tissue over time. Sclerotherapy is often guided using ultrasound.
All of these treatments are well-tolerated and require minimal downtime. To find out more about vein therapy to reduce edema, schedule a consultation with Dr. Banda at MD Vein & Skin Specialists. You can reach the office at 443-267-2428. Call now to book your session.