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Venous Disease

The vascular specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center are experts at treating various disorders that affect blood flow in the legs, collectively known as venous disease.

Providing Expert Care for All Types of Venous Disease

Veins play a key role in the circulatory system, delivering blood back to the heart. Valves inside the veins keep the blood flowing in one direction. When these valves are damaged or weakened, blood can flow backward into the leg and pool in the veins. Eventually, this can lead to venous disease.

At UT Southwestern, our experts have extensive experience in evaluating and treating venous disease. Our team of vascular specialists coordinates a patient’s complete care – from imaging evaluation to post-procedure follow-up. In addition, we coordinate closely with experts from across the UT Southwestern community when necessary.

Venous disorders we treat include: 

  • Varicose veins: enlarged, visible veins that might look like twisted cords
  • Spider veins: dilated capillaries on the skin
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis: a blood clot in a vein close to the skin surface
  • Proximal iliofemoral deep-vein thrombosis (DVT): a blood clot in the inferior vena cava, the iliac, or common femoral veins
  • Chronic venous insufficiency: a long-term condition that causes swelling, sores, and other skin changes

Risk Factors for Venous Disease

Venous disease risk factors include:

  • Immobility
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Family history of venous disease
  • History of blood clots

Diagnosis of Venous Disease

To diagnose venous disease, our doctors might perform:

  • Duplex ultrasound, which is a procedure that assesses blood flow and the structure of the leg veins
  • Color-flow imaging (also called triplex ultrasound), which is similar to duplex ultrasound but uses color to highlight the direction of blood flow
  • Magnetic resonance venography (MRV), which uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to create detailed pictures of the body’s organs and structures

Treatment for Venous Disease

At UT Southwestern, our compassionate, skilled vascular experts offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment for venous disease. Treatment depends on the patient’s diagnosis and medical situation.

We might recommend:

  • Sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, or radiofrequency ablation treatments for varicose veins
  • Compression therapy
  • Lifestyle changes for chronic venous insufficiency
  • Percutaneous mechanical lysis of proximal DVT to remove the clot
  • Venogram
  • Iliac vein stenting
  • Inferior vena cava placement or removal

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