Leg swelling is often due to a painless buildup of fluid in your tissues, but it could also be a sign of more serious circulatory problems. Expert cardiovascular specialists, Muhammad Khan, MD, and Ambreen Ashfaque, MD, at Cardiac Center of Texas in McKinney, Texas, use advanced diagnostic techniques to determine the cause of your leg swelling and find the most effective treatment. Even the mildest cases of leg swelling can lead to more serious conditions over time, so call North Texas-based Cardiac Center of Texas today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online form.

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What causes painless leg swelling?

Painless swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs is a common problem that’s increasingly likely to affect you as you get older. Painless swelling in both legs is usually due to edema — a buildup of fluid in the tissues.

This type of leg swelling is more likely if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Standing for long periods
  • Going on long journeys
  • Being pregnant
  • Menstruation
  • Having chronic venous insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition that’s often responsible for another common leg problem — varicose veins. It develops when the valves that control the one-way flow of blood from your feet and legs back to your heart weaken.

Pooling blood and poor circulation can lead to deterioration of the tissues in your legs and the development of vein problems and edema.

What other causes of leg swelling are there?

Sometimes leg swelling happens after an injury; for example, if you sprain your ankle, it’s probably going to swell. Infections and conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can also lead to leg swelling, although in these cases, the swelling is likely to be more uncomfortable or even painful, and it often affects just one leg.

Medications you might be taking can also cause painless leg swelling. Examples include:

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

Leg swelling can also occur if you have heart problems or liver or kidney disease. Lymphedema is another type of leg swelling which occurs when a component of your immune system called lymph fluid builds up in your soft tissues.

How is leg swelling treated?

The method the specialists at Cardiac Center of Texas use to treat your leg swelling depends on the cause. If your leg swelling is due to a potentially life-threatening problem like a DVT, you might require urgent thrombolytic treatment and blood thinners to break up the clot before it travels to your lungs.

Your provider at Cardiac Center of Texas can treat chronic venous insufficiency using techniques like the Venefit™Procedure (previously known as the VNUS Closure Procedure). This technique uses endovenous radiofrequency ablation to collapse problem veins.

If your veins aren’t suitable for radiofrequency ablation, your provider can perform microphlebectomy (ambulatory phlebectomy). This is a minimally invasive method of extracting problem veins.

If you have leg swelling, you should always seek medical advice. In most cases, leg swelling isn’t a symptom of an emergency condition like DVT or organ failure. However, left untreated, leg swelling can cause tissue deterioration in your legs that eventually leads to more serious circulatory problems like venous ulcers.

For prompt, effective care of your swollen legs, call Cardiac Center of Texas today, or book an appointment online.