Leg Swelling

Michael D Landau, MD -  - Vein Specialist

Vein Care Medical Center

Michael D Landau, MD

Vein Specialist & Varicose Vein Specialist located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA & Walnut, CA

Leg swelling isn’t just uncomfortable and unsightly, it could indicate a more serious underlying health problem. If you have swollen legs, Michael D. Landau, MD, at Vein Care Medical Center in Beverly Grove and Walnut, California, can help. Dr. Landau is an expert in vein diseases like venous insufficiency that cause leg swelling. He also provides medical and cosmetic treatments for unsightly veins, including the most advanced forms of sclerotherapy (including foam sclerotherapy) and endovenous ablation. Call or send an email to Vein Care Medical Center today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment.

Leg Swelling Q & A

What causes leg swelling?

Painless swelling in the foot, ankle, and leg is common, particularly as you get older. Painless swelling usually indicates a buildup of fluid known as edema.

Leg swelling can also happen as a result of injuring the tissues in your leg, a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis, lymphatic disease, or because of an infection or illness.

Painless swelling typically affects both your legs and can extend up into your thighs. Because of the effect of gravity, swelling is usually most obvious in the lower legs. Factors that can contribute to painless swelling include:

  • Age
  • Being overweight
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Long periods of standing
  • Long journeys
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstrual cycle

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which your leg veins can’t pump blood back up to your heart as well as they should. A common symptom of venous insufficiency is varicose veins. Lipedema causes leg swelling as a result of deposits of abnormally functioning fat building up beneath the skin.

Certain medications can also cause painless leg swelling, including:

  • MAO inhibitor antidepressants
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Steroids

Leg swelling, or edema, can sometimes be a sign of serious organ failure involving the heart, liver, or kidneys. Another type of leg swelling is lymphedema. This happens when lymph fluid, a part of your immune system, builds up in your soft tissues.

How can I reduce leg swelling?

If you have painless leg swelling in both legs, you can take steps to reduce the edema and boost your circulation.

Try raising your legs above your heart when you’re lying down. Resting them on pillows should help gravity to work in your favor. You should also exercise regularly to help pump fluid up your legs and take it back to your heart.

Because salt encourages fluid buildup, eat less of it. Wear graduated support hose to help your veins pump more effectively, but don’t wear anything tight like garters that could reduce your circulation. If you’re traveling or working, take frequent breaks so you can get up and move around.

If you’re overweight, one of the most important steps you can take is to lose the excess pounds and reduce the strain on your body.

Is leg swelling dangerous?

Because some causes of leg swelling could be potentially life-threatening like organ failure and deep vein thrombosis, you should always find out the cause of the swelling. Dr. Landau can diagnose the problem at Vein Care Medical Center and provide the appropriate treatment for many causes of leg swelling.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, pressure or tightness in your chest, and chest pain, you should go to the nearest ER or call 911.

Find out more about managing painless leg swelling or schedule an appointment by calling or send an email to Vein Care Medical Center today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment.