Venous Stasis

Venous Stasis

Poor circulations in the veins, often occurring in the feet and legs, is called venous stasis or venostasis. This condition manifests external symptoms such as varicose veins and spider veins; however, the greater concern is the propensity for blood clot formation.

Causes

When the movement of blood is slowed in the veins, blood pooling occurs. If you sit for long periods of time, blood can pool in the lower extremities. People who sit at a desk all day without getting up to move around or those on a long flight can experience this problem. Sitting with bent legs or lying down for long periods of time slows the movement of blood from the lower extremities.

Malfunctioning vein valves is another cause of venous stasis. When the veins fail to pump blood back up to the heart, pooling will occur. Symptoms Pooling blood will cause swelling – edema in the feet and legs. Experiencing edema for long periods of time places pressure inside the veins. This pressure leaks to seepage of fluid from the veins and often manifests itself at the skin’s surface as dark blotches, vericose veins or spider veins. Some patients will experience stasis dermatitis, a skin condition resulting from venous stasis which allows easy entry of bacteria into the skin, causing skin infections or worse, ulcers. The edema can be painful for some patients and may cause exhaustion.

Prevention

A patient can reduce his or her risk of experiencing venous stasis by breaking up long periods of sitting with brief periods of exercise. Getting up and walking around for a few minutes every hour can improve blood flow from the extremities.

Treatment

Your physician will examine your legs for swelling and varicose veins and request family health history. The exam may entail a sonogram of the legs to view the flow of blood in the veins. Other health conditions can also cause edema; your physician may order exams to rule them out. Your physician may recommend compression stockings, especially for situations when you will remain sed

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