If you’ve ever experienced swollen feet, ankles, or other parts of your body, you may be suffering from edema. Edema is a symptom that usually means there is a fluid buildup in that area.
At Vascular Vein Center we are able to diagnose vein and lymphatic issues and coordinate treatment for your swollen legs and edema at our centers throughout Florida. If you need more information on what edema is and whether you may suffer from it, here’s some information and how our team can help.
What is edema?
The medical term edema refers to swelling caused by fluid retention throughout the body. It can occur in multiple locations, but is frequently found in the legs, feet, and arms.
Edema can occur on its own, but it’s often a symptom of different diseases, including:
- Kidney diseases
- Vein damage, specifically in the legs
- Congestive heart failure
- Long term lack of protein
- Liver disease
Though edema generally refers to swelling, there are multiple subtypes of edema based on their location and cause. Some types require immediate treatment, such as:
- Cerebral edema, which occurs when there is a fluid blockage in the brain. Head injury often leads to cerebral edema and can be life-threatening.
- Pulmonary edema, where air sacs in the lungs fill with fluid. This often causes breathing difficulties and can lead to other complications.
Edema of the legs
Here at Vascular Vein Center, we primarily focus on edema that occurs in the legs. This may include:
- Peripheral edema, which usually occurs in the feet or lower legs. Peripheral edema often happens if you suffer from bad circulation, are sedentary, or consume a lot of salt.
- Pedal edema only happens in the feet and legs. It’s common in pregnant women or the elderly, but can also be a sign of congestive heart failure.
- Lymphedema occurs when there is damage to the lymph nodes. Cancer patients often experience this after they finish chemotherapy or other types of radiation, leaving lymph node damage.
Throughout the day, our legs normally experience changes to the pressure in our veins and may even experience swelling from time to time. If you’ve ever noticed swollen ankles after a long day standing, this may be to blame.
However, if the veins in your legs are unable to return the fluid throughout the rest of your body, you may experience edema in your legs, which could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Regardless of the cause of your edema, it’s important to act quickly. Left untreated, your edema may progress to causing an ulcer or leaving permanent damage to your skin.
No one size fits all for edema treatment. Because underlying health issues usually cause edema, we base treatment on the cause and severity of your edema.
For example, we recommend compression garments to reduce fluid retention and prevent progression for lymphedema. When it comes to edema caused by vascular problems, we often use laser ablation for larger veins and Varithena or medical foam for closure of varicose veins.
To correctly diagnose your edema, call Vascular Vein Centers at any of our convenient locations throughout Florida. You can also request an appointment, or use our online contact form to request more information.