Leg Swelling Specialist

Premier Cardiovascular Consultants

Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases located in Troy, Detroit, & Taylor, MI

When you think of leg swelling, you probably envision the swelling that occurs when you sprain your ankle or suffer a fracture. However, there’s another type of leg swelling that signals an underlying problem with your blood vessels. Hammam Zmily, MD, and the highly skilled team at Premier Cardiovascular Consultants, which has offices in Troy, Taylor, and Detroit, Michigan, have extensive experience in determining when leg swelling is due to peripheral vascular disease and providing advanced treatments that prevent complications and protect your health. If you develop leg swelling, call the office nearest you, or schedule an appointment online today.

Leg Swelling Q & A

What causes leg swelling?

Leg swelling, or edema, occurs when extra fluids build up in your leg. You may experience edema when you sit or stand too long. It’s also a problem women face during pregnancy. Edema can also be caused by:

  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lymphedema
  • Cellulitis
  • Certain medications

Of all the possible causes, vascular disease is one of the most common causes of leg swelling.

What vascular conditions cause leg swelling?

The vascular problems most often responsible for leg swelling include:

Chronic venous insufficiency

This condition develops when one-way valves in your leg veins don’t work properly. As a result, blood backs up and pools in the vein, which enlarges the vein and leads to large, twisted varicose veins.

The blood continues to accumulate and interferes with blood trying to flow up your legs to your heart; a condition called chronic venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency boosts the pressure in the veins below the damaged valve, forcing fluids to leak out, and causing leg swelling.

Peripheral arterial disease

When cholesterol builds up in the arteries in your legs, the plaque narrows the artery and restricts blood flow. 

With a limited blood supply, your muscles and other tissues don’t get the oxygen they need, which causes one of the primary symptoms of peripheral arterial disease, like leg pain, cramping, and heaviness when you walk. 

Peripheral arterial disease also leads to leg swelling, hyperpigmentation, and loss of muscle mass.

Blood clots

Thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory condition in your veins that can cause blood clots. The blood clots then impede blood flow and lead to leg swelling. One type of thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, develops after a trauma, surgery, or when you’re inactive for a long time.

What other symptoms might develop if I have leg swelling?

The underlying conditions that cause leg swelling may lead to other symptoms, including:

  • Leg pain
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Skin rash
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Ulcer or open wound
  • Shortness of breath

Your legs may also feel tired, heavy, or develop muscle cramps.

How do you treat leg swelling?

When you come to Premier Cardiovascular Consultants for swollen legs, your physician thoroughly evaluates your symptoms, orders blood tests, and often performs advanced diagnostic imaging to visualize problems in your blood vessels.

There are many possible treatments for leg swelling because it depends on the cause of the problem. Your doctor develops a customized plan based on your unique health needs. 

However, patients often need diuretics, compression stockings, and, in advanced cases of PAD, minimally invasive procedures to remove a blockage.

If you develop leg swelling, call Premier Cardiovascular Consultants or book an appointment online today.

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