Leg swelling isn’t uncommon, but it’s also not normal — and it’s definitely a symptom you shouldn’t ignore. Knowing what causes leg swelling (or edema) is the first step in getting appropriate care. And that starts with a visit with our team in Warner Robins, Georgia.
Dr. Allison Burkett makes sure our patients at Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions receive the right treatment for swollen legs based on an in-depth evaluation and diagnosis of the underlying cause. Here’s what could be causing your leg swelling.
Swollen legs happen as a symptom, so in order to relieve swelling, Dr. Burkett begins by considering your symptoms and performing a series of evaluations. Some possible causes include:
Vascular issues are a common cause of leg swelling, especially as we get older. That includes medical problems like:
Sometimes, leg swelling is accompanied by other symptoms, like leg pain, skin-related changes, hair growth changes, or varicose veins. During your office visit, it’s important to let Dr. Burkett know about any symptoms that aren’t immediately apparent, like leg pain or numbness, including when those symptoms occur.
Sometimes, leg swelling can be alleviated simply by elevating your legs to help the tissues drain better. This is especially true of more “temporary” causes of edema, like pregnancy or long periods of sitting.
The elevation is also frequently recommended alongside other conservative treatment options, such as:
In addition to these conservative “home remedies,” Dr. Burkett recommends treatments focused on the underlying cause of leg swelling. She may also suggest a change in your medications.
As a top-rated vascular surgeon, Dr. Burkett offers an array of state-of-the-art treatments for leg swelling due to vascular issues.
Dr. Burkett uses the ClosureFast™ system to administer controlled “doses” of radiofrequency (RF) energy to damaged veins, causing the veins to close off. Over time, the damaged vein is absorbed by your body and blood is rerouted to healthy, local vessels.
VenaSeal uses a minimally invasive approach to inject a special medical adhesive inside the damaged veins. The adhesive causes the vein walls to stick together, blocking the flow of blood. As with RF treatments, your body absorbs the vein material and reroutes circulation to neighboring veins.
Sclerotherapy is an injection therapy that uses special chemicals to close off a vein. It’s a time-tested solution for small or moderate-sized veins.
While the other methods are designed to treat damaged veins, angioplasty is often recommended for peripheral artery disease. In this procedure, a tiny medical balloon is inserted into the damaged artery and then inflated to widen the artery and improve blood flow.
Other times, like when a kidney or liver problem is suspected, Dr. Burkett may recommend you see a specialist who can provide additional treatment. Sometimes, managing leg swelling is simply a matter of managing an underlying medical problem, like adjusting your diabetes management plan.
Leg swelling might seem like a relatively minor symptom, but it’s not normal — and it could be a sign of a more serious issue that needs treatment. To find out what’s causing your swollen legs, call (478) 238-5513 or book an appointment online at Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions today.