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Rosen Vein Lecture105: Diagnosis, part 1…Recogizing the Problem

Rosen Vein Lectures 105: Diagnosing Vein Disease

Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said something like “pornography is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.” That’s not always true when it comes to vein disease. It isn’t always about what you see at the surface. In fact, some patients with significant vein disease have no overt signs yet have suffered from a variety of chronic leg issues for years.

So…how do you know if you have a problem? The first step is for you to recognize the common symptoms that should prompt you to seek consultation. Pain, spider veins and bulging, varicose veins may actually be late signs of vein disease.

Common Symptoms in the lower extremities include:
-Heaviness
-Fatigue
-Cramping
-Itchiness

More Significant Symptoms include
-Small→Large visible veins…though size doesn’t matter; you can have significant symptoms from varicose veins that are <1mm!
-Swelling
-Skin changes:
-Eczema: dry, scaly, weepy skin
-Discoloration:
-bright red,inflamed: often confused for cellulitis…a deep skin infection
-dark red: lipodermatosclerosis
-lightening of color: hypopigmentation (aka atrophy blanche)

-Ulcers: open, weeping wounds. You never want to reach this point as it can lead to severe pain and limb-threatening infections. If you’ve reached this point already, no worries…proper treatment at Rosen Vein Care can lead to early and permanent healing of ulcers.

“Lifestyle” Symptoms: I believe these can be the worst of all. Some patients with chronic venous disease will do whatever they can to avoid situations where their legs are seen. Going to the pool, the beach, wearing shorts in the summertime. Moments of intimacy. There’s a great big beautiful world out there and we have a limited time to enjoy it.

By playing your part on the vein treatment team…namely by recognizing the potential problem and making the decision to solve it by coming to Rosen Vein Care before the effects become severe, you can start your journey on the road to wellness. It’s time for you to enjoy your life to the fullest!

Once you recognize that your chronic leg symptoms may, along with obvious spider veins and bulging varicose veins, hint at significant underlying disease…the next step at achieving a diagnosis is through the use of an ultrasound machine. 

Look for my next blog post which will discuss The Ultrasound Exam more fully.

So…if you’ve got symptoms and/or obvious veins…come on in for a consultation during which I will perform a diagnostic ultrasound to determine the location and extent of your particular vein disease. Call 847-272-8346 to schedule your consultation. We can typically get patients appointments within a few business days.

See you soon!

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