Veins play a very complex and vital role in the body. Healthy veins make up a network of vessels that carry oxygen-deficient blood to the heart to be replenished and recirculated throughout the body. This important role means that any vein insufficiency has the power to greatly affect an individual’s overall health. While it’s sometimes assumed that vein insufficiency is more closely related to cosmetic issues, particularly revolving around varicose or spider veins, the health impact of any problem originating with veins can, in fact, lead to emergency treatment being required. Understanding the possibilities and recognizing signs of a problem early on is key to detecting and treating vein emergencies in a timely manner.
Vein Disorders that May Lead to an Emergency
Venous conditions often present with a variety of physical symptoms accompanied by a certain level of pain that might lead a patient to head to an emergency room. The treatment options for varying venous conditions can be very different depending on the severity of the case.
Acute Venous Thromboembolism
This category of venous conditions includes both Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism. Both of these conditions can prove to be detrimental to overall health and even fatal if left untreated. DVT often presents with symptoms that can include lower extremity paralysis, extremity swelling and localized tenderness along the veins. Pulmonary Embolisms are often accompanied by increased heart rates, a potential for coughing up blood in combination with many of the symptoms that point to DVT. If either of these conditions is a stage of severity, it’s likely that the patient will be admitted to the hospital for surgical intervention. Outpatient cases are often treated with blood thinners and follow up appointments to make sure blood clots are diminishing or at a minimum, remaining stationary in the body.
Acute Superficial Phlebitis
Patients who present with symptoms associated with the category of Acute Superficial Phlebitis (SVT) commonly suffer from varicose veins as well. This condition is closely linked to pain in the extremities, discoloration, vein tenderness, and erythema. It’s important that patients experiencing these symptoms see a physician as soon as possible as it’s likely that SVT can transition into DVT or a Pulmonary Embolism. At a minimum, patients suffering from SVT are recommended to practice leg elevation and compression. Medication will likely be prescribed for patients suffering from more severe cases.
Venous Leg Ulcers with Infection and/or Cellulitis
Patients who present with Venous Leg Ulcers (VLU) often find themselves in the emergency room when ulcers are accompanied by swelling, pain, increased erythema, fever, chills and an area that is increasingly warm. If there is minimal risk of infection with the ulcer, it will likely be treated with a dressing and compression wrap for 24 to 48 hours. If there is a high suspicion that the ulcer is linked to infection or cellulitis, an antibiotic will be prescribed.
Spontaneous Venous Hemorrhage
Anytime Spontaneous Venous Hemmorhaging occurs, it’s likely linked to an underlying venous reflux disease and should be quickly treated. Patients usually notice the condition when blue or red markings appear underneath thinning skin. Some patients report a pulsating feeling at the side of the hemorrhage. In the majority of cases, this can be treated with leg elevation and compression. Patients with more severe cases will be referred for hospital admission if there is a possibility of DVT, Pulmonary Embolism or Venous Leg Ulcers linked to infection.
Contact Our Clinic Today for Vein Insufficiency and More
If you believe you are suffering from any of the above-listed conditions, or have questions surrounding treatment options for Deep Vein Thrombosis and more, please contact Dr. Wright at the St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center today. Our team is here to partner with you on a journey to vein health.