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Venous Disorders - Anthology of Vein Damage Differentials

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Venous disorders are a group of conditions that damages the veins. Read below to know more in detail about it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Arpit Varshney

Published At February 24, 2023
Reviewed AtMarch 1, 2023

Introduction

Veins are the blood vessels in the body that take the poor oxygen blood and return it to the heart. Almost 75 percent of the body's blood is stored in the veins. There are four main types of veins:

  1. Systemic Veins - Oxygen-depleted blood returns from the entire body.

  2. Pulmonary Veins - Oxygenated blood is carried from the lungs to the left atrium.

  3. Deep Veins - Present in the muscle tissue.

  4. Superficial - Located on the skin's closer surface and not near the corresponding artery.

What Are Venous Disorders?

A venous disorder is a condition that affects or damages the veins in the body. Veins carry the unfiltered blood from the organs and back to the heart. The heart pumps the blood, which is transported through the veins, and then the arteries carry the oxygen-rich blood to the body. Veins have flaps that open when there is a contraction of muscles. The valves close when the muscles relax, keeping the blood flow in the same direction. If venous damage occurs inside the veins, the valves do not close properly, leading to blood flow in all directions.

What Are the Types of Venous Disorders?

Several venous disorders can occur due to different reasons. Some of the disorders include:

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): It affects the large sizes of the vein that are situated below the skin’s surface. It is a serious and life-threatening condition affecting the arms and legs. The blood clot can break free and travel through the bloodstream, where it goes and sticks to the lung’s blood vessels.

  • Blood Clots: Blood clots occur as a normal procedure of healing after any wound, but all blood clots help in the healing. They can occur in the arms, legs, brain, and veins of the internal organs (kidney, intestine, and spleen).

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency: In this condition, there is blood pooling. The veins of the legs are damaged and become swollen. It also causes increased skin discoloration, leg ulcers, and excessive pressure.

  • Varicose Veins: They are twisted and swollen blood vessels that swell up under the skin's surface. These veins are dilated and lead to weakened walls of the blood vessels.

  • Venous Ulcer: These ulcers take weeks to heal due to blood and vein flow issues. It commonly occurs in the inner parts of the legs and above the ankles.

  • Arteriovenous Fistulas: It occurs when the veins and arteries are connected directly, leading to incorrect blood flow. This condition occurs when the veins and the arteries are in very close contact with the organs such as limbs.

Is Venous Disorders a Common condition?

This condition affects around 30 million people affected by venous disorders in the United States. Around 33 percent of these cases are recorded for varicose veins.

What Are the Symptoms of Venous Disorder?

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the legs.

  • Enlarged blue veins.

  • Pain and inflammation in a leg.

  • Warmth and redness around the affected veins.

  • Soreness in legs.

  • Fatigue.

  • Itching.

What Causes Venous Disorders?

It can be caused due to multiple reasons, such as:

  • Injury: While playing a sport or due to an accident, the veins may get damaged, leading to blood clots. Injury from catheters and needles can also cause this condition.

  • Pregnancy: In a few cases during pregnancy, a woman can develop either of the venous disorders due to fluctuation of the hormones.

  • High Blood Pressure: The veins get swell in people with a history of high blood pressure.

How Are Venous Disorders Diagnosed?

Firstly the healthcare expert will do a complete physical examination and review the medical history. Some of the diagnostic modalities through which venous disorders are tested include:

  • Imaging Tests: Some imaging tests like X-ray, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and CT (computed tomography) scans are done by injecting the dye to get a clear image of the veins in the scan. These scans use high magnetic waves to get the images. The dye helps get a clearer view of the nerves and the veins.

  • Blood Test: A blood test is done to check for complications and confirm the diagnosis. An expert will take the sample from the arm's vein by inserting a fine needle. A small amount of blood is drawn out in a vial or a test tube. The sample is then sent to the laboratory for further investigation.

  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound is done to check blood flow in the body. Ultrasound uses sound waves that detect blood clots. It is a simple procedure that takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

How Are Venous Disorders Treated?

Treatment options include:

  • Compression stockings and bandages are given to reduce swelling and inflammation. It helps in improving the blood flow in the lower legs and feet.

  • Medications are given to heal the blood clots.

  • An individual should focus on the diet by avoiding oily food and exercising more.

  • Sclerotherapy is a procedure where a solution is inserted through a needle in the varicose veins to make them disappear completely.

  • Angioplasty is done to open the blocked veins.

  • A vena cava filter is a procedure in which a device is inserted in the veins through which the blood clots are removed before they reach the lungs.

  • Excess pressure should not be given on the leg; they should rest properly.

Conclusion

Venous disorders are a group of conditions in which the veins are damaged, leading to pain, swelling, inflammation, and blood clots. They occur due to several reasons and are divided into several types. Varicose veins are the most common type of venous disorder, familiar to many people today. Though this condition is not fatal if ignored, that can cause severe complications. It can be diagnosed through various methods like imaging tests and blood tests. In addition, giving proper rest, a good diet, compression bandages, and certain surgical methods help heal the clots faster.

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Dr. Arpit Varshney
Dr. Arpit Varshney

General Medicine

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