Venous stasis is pooling of blood in the veins, usually in the legs due to gravity. It is caused by venous insufficiency, in which blood pumped by the heart down into the arteries of the legs has trouble returning through the veins. Either the venous walls or valves along the walls may be weak, or a blood clot may block normal venous flow. Advanced age or prolonged sitting or standing may cause chronic venous insufficiency. Sometimes tumors in the pelvic region or malformations of veins can be involved.
This can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Leg swelling
- Feeling described as tightness in calves
- Itchy or painful legs
- Pain when walking, relieved with rest
- Varicose or swollen veins
- Hyperpigmentation (dark skin)
- Leg ulcers that don’t readily heal
There are several steps we can take to prevent venous stasis:
- Normalize weight. Overweight and obesity are risk factors.
- Quit smoking, or don’t start. Smoking damages blood vessels.
- Wellbutrin is a medication that can help you stop smoking
- Walk frequently (the muscle contractions from walking act like a pump, pumping up the blood in the legs back towards the heart)
- Wear compression stockings
Treatment can be medical or surgical. Trental (pentoxifylline) makes red blood cells more pliable, so that they travel better through blocked blood vessels. The usual dose is one 400mg extended-release tablet three times a day. Common side effects are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gas and bloating
- Upset stomach
- Blurred vision
The price of Trental ranges from $19.00 to $37.00 for a bottle of 90 tablets, strength 400mg. To find the least expensive pharmacy near you, and to obtain a coupon, click here.
Surgical treatment might consist of injections of a hardening substance or destruction of a problem vessel.