When you have circulation issues that prevent adequate blood flow to your legs and feet, you’re at high risk of experiencing leg swelling and developing chronic venous ulcers. Ramzan Zakir, MD, at Cardiac & Vascular Interventions of New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Jersey, specializes in treating leg ulcers. If you have leg swelling or a leg ulcer that isn’t healing, call the office to arrange a consultation or book an appointment online today.
The primary cause of leg swelling is edema (fluid buildup). Edema is generally painless in the early stages, just making your ankles and feet appear puffy. Over time the swelling spreads and worsens unless you address the underlying cause.
Fluid leaking from diseased veins is often a cause of edema. Blood that builds up in your legs instead of returning to your heart starts to break down and affect the tissues around the veins.
Blood pooling occurs when the leg veins fail to pump blood back up your legs as they should. This condition, known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), is the root cause of varicose veins.
CVI tends to develop in older age, especially when you have risk factors such as being overweight or obese, being a smoker, or spending long periods sitting or standing. One of the most serious problems CVI can lead to is leg ulcers.
A venous leg ulcer is a type of wound that develops on the lower extremities due to lack of circulation.
When you have CVI and edema, your legs and feet lack the oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for fighting infection and proper healing. A simple scratch or minor cut can develop into a chronic venous ulcer because your soft tissues are slow to heal.
A venous leg ulcer doesn’t appear as a gaping wound but rather an area of damaged tissues that aren’t healing well. Symptoms of an ulcer include:
Venous leg ulcers most often develop in the lower legs and ankles. Dr. Zakir has extensive experience in preventing and treating chronic venous leg ulcers.
To treat chronic venous insufficiency, Dr. Zakir uses advanced techniques such as sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, and endovenous radiofrequency ablation. These methods use heat or irritants to cause the diseased veins to collapse.
The treated veins disappear over time, and your circulation improves as blood then flows through healthy veins. Making changes to your life that promote good circulation is also important, such as weight loss and getting more exercise.
If you have a leg ulcer, you may need to undergo a process known as debridement to clean away dead and infected tissue, followed by compression therapy, physical therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), or skin grafting.
If you have leg swelling, don't wait until it reaches an advanced stage. Get help now by calling Cardiac & Vascular Interventions of New Jersey or booking an appointment online today.