Spotting Vein Disease
Believe it or not, this is a photo of a healthy athlete and not of a person with disease of their circulation. Yes, the image suggests something abnormal but this cyclist’s legs are extremely fit.
All vein issues are not necessarily abnormal. Here professional cyclist Paweł Poljański has just completed a portion of the Tour de France bicycle race. He has a very low fat content in his legs and his superficial veins which sit under the skin are enlarged and visible. When we exercise vigorously, enlargement or dilatation of our leg and arm blood vessels occurs as a healthy adaptation to exercise. In this way, we can supply our muscles with additional blood and efficiently return that blood back to our heart and lungs.
Abnormal or diseased veins look different. While enlarged, they are chronically enlarged, not just after exercise and they often throb or cause discomfort with prolonged sitting or standing. In addition, diseased veins become snake like in shape, the vein walls become thicker and the blood actually swirls around inside the veins, only sluggishly returning back to the heart and lungs.
Veins that just look bad are not always an indication for medical treatment. However, enlarged veins causing symptoms such as leg heaviness, ankle swelling, leg itching, or changes in skin texture and coloration are signs of a potential circulatory issue which can be evaluated with a painless, non-invasive ultrasound exam.
At Vein Specialists of Tampa all evaluations and procedures are performed in our office using local anesthesia and occasionally oral sedation. We are here to help you better understand changes in your circulation and if indicated, treat your vein issues in a medical office setting.