Chronic Venous Disease (CVD, also known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency, CVI) is a surprisingly common, widespread, but under-recognized, group of diseases. CVD can affect up to 30-40 millions of Americans, but most people are unaware. Signs of CVD can appear as leg swelling, redness, other skin discoloration, inflammation, varicose leg veins (enlarged, twisting, ugly and uncomfortable), spider veins (tiny), reticular veins (smaller than varicose, but a bit larger than spider), scaling, scarring, and skin ulcers that would not heal well. Most people would have some degree of symptoms, such as leg swelling, cramps, pain, heaviness, restlessness, discomfort, itching and burning, restlessness and night time uneasiness or tightness (Charlie Horse). Infections can happen, but bleeding would be rare. Many others, however, could be totally without symptoms despite their legs' appearances.
The causes are usually a combination of genetic and hereditary; occupations requiring prolonged standing; multiple childbirths; a history of known, (or possibly unknown), deep vein blood clots (DVTs) in the legs and/or in the abdomen; accidents or trauma in the same area causing injuries requiring major surgeries; and obesity. Diagnosis can be made with good history and physical examinations and a simple, painless ultrasound procedure.
There no longer is a significant role of vein strippings, bloody operation as performed many years ago. These days, almost all curative procedures are carried out as an outpatient, in the office, with minimal sedation. There is no bedrest, down-time or recovery needed. The procedure in the morning, and you will back to your daily routine in the afternoon. You can and should walk in the afternoon. Risks and complications are possible, but rare, depending on your personal medical risks.
If you are concerned about and/or suspicious of CVD, you may wish to start wearing compression stockings. Be methodical and slow, be patient with yourself, and wear them a few hours daily to start. Then, begin a conversation with your doctor. Of course, I will be happy to be a part of the evaluation and treatment process.