Problems with your vascular system can affect your body in different ways. From minor pain to serious health issues, it’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. This will alert you to see one of our board-certified surgeons and get the treatment you need to protect your overall health.
Five signs that you need to see a doctor about vascular surgery include:
- Leg pain while walking
- Chronic swelling of the leg
- Venous skin ulcers
- Sudden, severe abdominal and back pain
- Sudden weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of your body
1. Leg Pain While Walking
Also known as window shopping pain or claudication, this vascular symptom may be an indicator of peripheral artery disease. You may notice pain while walking for a short period of time and need to stop and rest in order to get relief. In its advanced stages, peripheral artery disease can result in pain while resting and even leg ulcers, which may require vascular surgery.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD for short, indicates that the blood vessels in your legs have become narrow or blocked. This is usually caused by fatty buildup (plaque) in the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your legs — a process known as atherosclerosis. Peripheral artery disease can happen in any blood vessel but is more common in legs than arms.
Click here to learn how vascular screenings can help you get the treatment you need for vascular diseases!
2. Chronic Swelling of the Leg
Chronic swelling of the leg is one of the most common and most uncomfortable early signs of varicose veins. They are caused by blood not being effectively pumped back to the heart from the legs. This is due to the one-way valves in leg veins malfunctioning and becoming stuck open. This causes blood to pool and pressure to increase in your legs, resulting in swelling.
With varicose veins, swelling usually worsens as the day progresses, leaving you with legs that are much larger by the end of it. Sometimes your feet and ankles may also swell due to poor circulation and increased pressure.
Swollen legs can be made worse if you:
- Sit for long periods of time
- Stand for long periods of time
- Are menstruating
Varicose veins are a chronic condition which means that your symptoms will only worsen with time. While at-home treatment can help reduce your symptoms for short periods of time, medical treatment is the only guaranteed way to find long-term relief.
To read our blog on the cause of varicose veins and what you can do about them, click here!
3. Venous Skin Ulcers
Rashes, cuts, and other wounds can take longer to heal if they’re on your legs compared to other parts of your body. However, it’s still important to pay attention to see if they’re taking an abnormally long time to heal. While this is a common problem for diabetics due to high blood sugar, it can point to a different issue for non-diabetics — venous skin ulcers.
Your skin heals much quicker when you have good blood circulation. Unfortunately, issues such as varicose veins can cause minor injuries to become more severe over time. What began as a minor wound on your lower leg can eventually develop into painful open wounds, significantly increasing your risk of an infection that can spread throughout your body.
Seeking treatment for varicose veins early on is the best way to prevent venous skin ulcers. Symptoms aren’t life-threatening at this stage and are manageable at home. But as a chronic condition, your symptoms will continue to progress and become more severe as time goes on. Professional treatment is the best way to prevent this and should be sought immediately.
Click here to learn more signs of varicose veins that surprise most patients!
4. Sudden, Severe Abdominal & Back Pain
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen or back may be a sign of an aneurysm — a condition in which the walls of an artery become weak and widens or balloons outwards. Abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA, is the most common type of aneurysm and most commonly affects men over the age of 65.
Most abdominal aortic aneurysms don’t have readily noticeable symptoms. In fact, most are picked up during an X-ray, MRI, CTA, or CT scan while looking for something else. However, sudden and severe pain in your abdomen, lower back, chest, and groin may indicate that a rupture is about to occur. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.
To learn more about abdominal aortic aneurysms, click here!
5. Sudden Weakness, Numbness, or Tingling on One Side of Your Body
Sudden weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of your body are common symptoms of a stroke. They come in two different types:
- Ischemic stroke: when a blockage prevents your brain from getting enough oxygen
- Hemorrhagic stroke: when a blood vessel bursts in the brain
Click here to learn what you can do to help prevent a stroke!
A stroke can have serious repercussions since it can kill your brain tissue. This can result in a permanent disability, brain damage, and even death. Seek treatment immediately if you or someone you love is showing signs of a stroke. This can help prevent long-term damage and even save lives.
Are you concerned about your vascular health? Contact us today to schedule a vascular screening in Evansville, IN!
There are a number of reasons you may need to see a vascular surgeon. Advanced cases of PAD may require surgery if you develop leg ulcers. Chronic swelling of the leg can indicate varicose veins, which can also lead to venous leg ulcers. Severe and sudden back or abdominal pain are one of the few noticeable symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Sudden weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of your body are common signs of a stroke.
Evansville Surgical Associates has been providing comprehensive and compassionate surgical care for over 50 years. Call us at (812) 424-8231 or (800) 264-8231. We are available from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm if you would like to schedule an appointment.