With venous edema, there is a malfunction in the venous system (veins). The edema occurs in the legs (usually around the ankles) because the valves in the veins do not function properly, for example with varicose veins and thrombosis. This obstructs the flow of blood and the fluid drainage and complaints (such as fluid accumulation) occur.
Faulty valves in the veins (the venous system) of the legs prevent an optimal return of oxygen-poor, waste-rich blood from the legs to the heart. Lymphatic fluid is not adequately drained. The legs become heavy, restless and swell. Fluid build-up and dilated blood vessels or varicose veins cause pain symptoms.
Venous edema causes a (lead) heavy or restless feeling in the legs during the day. The legs and ankles swell due to fluid build-up, which leads to a burning sensation or spasmodic pain and stiffness, also known as “restless legs.” Due to the increasing pressure in the malfunctioning veins, the blood vessels widen and varicose veins develop. Sometimes we see a brownish discoloration of the skin.
Venous edema often occurs in combination with lymphedema.
What is the cause of venous edema
The blood vessels in the legs contain valves that open when the blood is drained from the legs. To prevent this oxygen-poor and waste-rich blood from flowing back, the valves close after the blood has passed. If the valves do not function properly, the blood is not properly drained, and so is the tissue fluid, which is delivered to the blood via the lymphatic system (more information can be found on the page Lymphedema).
Fluid builds up in the legs, especially around the ankles that become thick and swollen during the day. Blood pressure in the leg vessels increases, vessels and vessels widen and varicose veins develop.
Venous edema, also called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), is a combination of fluid build-up (edema) and malfunctioning blood vessels (the venous system). It can occur at any age, but the elderly, pregnant women and invalids are at greater risk.
Venous edema prevents good blood circulation in the skin of the legs and ankles. As a result, wounds in those places heal poorly and the risk of an open leg (ulcus cruris) increases. It is therefore very important to prevent wounds.
How can you yreat Venous Edema?
Reimbursement by health insurers
Edema therapy is (partly) reimbursed by most insurance companies. Ask your skin therapist for advice if you are unsure whether a certain treatment is reimbursed