Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston
Cardiologists located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX
Occasional leg swelling may be nothing to worry about, but if your legs and ankles swell often, it’s time to schedule a diagnostic evaluation. At the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston, the cardiologists offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for leg swelling. They customize treatments for the many underlying causes of leg swelling, including venous insufficiency and deep vein thrombosis. To learn more about what’s causing your leg swelling, call the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston office in Houston or North Cypress, Texas, or request an appointment through the online booking feature today.
Leg Swelling Q & A
What causes leg swelling?
Swelling in your legs or ankles can be the result of your lifestyle, your activities, or an underlying condition affecting your heart or blood vessels. Your legs may swell due to an infection or an injury to your muscles or bones.
Other common causes of swelling in your lower extremities include:
Edema describes a build-up of fluid in your legs and feet. This fluid may be the result of pregnancy or obesity that puts added pressure on your body structures or from eating too much salt in your diet.
Venous insufficiency describes weak veins in your legs that can interfere with blood flowing back to your heart. Dysfunction in your veins can lead to edema and varicose (enlarged) veins.
Lymphedema is a condition that develops when your lymph nodes aren’t filtering fluid efficiently and can lead to swelling in your arms and legs.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD)/peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
PAD and PVD are types of circulatory conditions that result when your arteries or veins become narrow and don’t allow blood to flow properly. A build-up of fatty deposits (plaque) inside the vessel causes the narrowing.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is a blood clot that typically forms in a vein in your lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. The clot can cause leg pain, enlarged veins, and swelling in your legs and ankles. If the clot breaks off, it can travel to your lungs, blocking blood flow and leading to a pulmonary embolism.
When organs like your heart, liver, and kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it can lead to leg swelling and pain. Common conditions that cause swelling include congestive heart failure, liver disease, and chronic kidney disease.
When should I seek treatment for leg swelling?
Because there are a number of conditions that can cause leg swelling, some of which are serious health issues, it’s important that you seek a diagnostic evaluation at the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston if you have:
- Leg pain
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in both legs
If you have any of these symptoms or experience recurrent leg swelling that doesn’t resolve with rest, schedule a consultation without delay.
How is leg swelling treated?
Treatment for mild and occasional leg and ankle swelling usually involves rest and the elevation of the affected leg. If you have moderate to serious leg swelling, you may need medications that help eliminate fluids from your body.
If your leg swelling is the result of DVT, you may need blood thinners or clot-busting medications to break up the clot before it can cause a blockage.
To treat painful varicose veins or remove a blood clot, the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston may recommend surgery to destroy or remove the damaged vein or clot. Surgery (angioplasty) to place a stent in a narrow vein may also be an option to prevent additional blood clots and treat venous insufficiency or PAD.
If you need a diagnostic evaluation for leg swelling, call the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston office nearest you or request a consultation today through the online booking feature.