Photo - 0 - Who's at Risk for Vein Disease?

Your circulatory system is a complex network of blood vessels that delivers oxygenated blood and nutrients to your body’s tissues and returns deoxygenated blood back to your heart. The arteries take care of the former, and the veins are responsible for the latter.

Veins, though, in some ways have the harder task — they have to move the blood against the pull of gravity from the feet up to your chest. With so much work, is it any wonder vein diseases are so common?

According to interventional radiologist Dr. Dev Batra at Texas Vascular Institute in Dallas and Hurst, Texas, vein conditions, including varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis, affect nearly 70% of the population in some form.

Dr. Batra specializes in screening for, diagnosing, and treating vein issues and is passionate about the work he does. To help his patients understand their risks for developing vein disease, he’s put together this guide.

Venous insufficiency, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)

In this section, we detail three common vein diseases.

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are a common — and well-known — vein disease, affecting up to 3 in 10 adults, most of them being women over 50. When not treated, they’re also one of the major risks for venous insufficiency becoming chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

The veins’ Herculean task is aided by two factors: the calf muscles that contract to force the blood forward, and the one-way valves that snap shut once the blood has passed.

You may experience some symptoms with the varicose veins, such as pain, itchiness, and a “heavy” feeling, but varicose veins alone are not dangerous.

The risks for varicose veins include:

  • Being female
  • Being over 50
  • Being overweight, obese, or pregnant
  • Smoking
  • Standing or walking for extended periods

Chronic venous insufficiency

If the wall of a vein becomes damaged or weakened, say because of too high blood pressure or plaque formation, the valve may not be able to close properly. That means the blood is free to backtrack, and it often pools around the damaged area, causing thick, ropy, colored bulges on your legs — varicose veins. The condition underlying the varicose veins is called venous insufficiency.

Chronic venous insufficiency (poor circulation) is indicated by the progression of the following symptoms:

  • Flakey or itchy skin on the lower legs
  • Leathery or shiny skin
  • Swelling in the lower legs and ankles (edema)
  • Skin discoloration (venous stasis dermatitis)
  • Slow-healing ulcers (open wounds) on the lower legs, ankles, or feet

Risk factors for CVI include:

  • Heart disease, especially atherosclerosis: plaque formation impedes blood flow
  • Leg trauma
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Superficial vein swelling (phlebitis)
  • Prior cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a family history
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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Unlike varicose veins, which affect the surface veins, DVT develops when a blood clot forms in one of your deep veins. It usually occurs in the leg, but it can also form in the arms or pelvis.

DVT is a potentially dangerous health condition. If the blood clot breaks off, it can travel through the bloodstream into your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening emergency. If a clot breaks off from elsewhere in your body, it can lead to a stroke.

Warning signs of DVT include:

  • Leg, ankle, or foot swelling
  • Cramping in the calf muscles
  • Severe, unexplained pain in the foot and ankle
  • Skin warmer to the touch than the surrounding area
  • Skin that appears pale blue or red over the clot area
Photo - 0 - Who's at Risk for Vein Disease?

Risk factors for DVT include:

  • Age: men between 45-60 are especially susceptible
  • Major surgery or trauma, especially to the stomach, pelvis, or leg
  • Hospital stays (bed rest) over three days
  • Immobility or paralysis
  • Medications containing estrogen
  • Pregnancy or recent delivery
  • Obesity
  • Chronic medical conditions (inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, clotting disorders)
  • Cancer
  • Previous venous thromboembolism (VTE): about 30% of those who’ve had DVT get it again

If you have any of the risk factors for vein disease, it’s time to see a specialist. Dr. Batra and the Texas Vascular Institute team boast cutting-edge diagnostic tools and treatments available to decrease your risk and treat your problems. Give the office a call at 972-646-8346 to set up a consultation or book online with us today.

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Texas Vascular Institute | Dallas, TX

3500 Oak Lawn Ave, #760
Dallas, TX 75219


For Appointments: 972-798-4710
General Inquiries: 972-646-8346

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Texas Vascular Institute | Hurst, TX

809 West Harwood Rd, Suite 101,
Hurst, TX 76054


For Appointments: 972-798-4710
General Inquiries: 972-646-8346

Set Appointment