Causes of Swollen Legs

Although swollen legs may not always be a serious health issue, there could be underlying treatable medical causes. If you have been sitting, standing, or walking for an extended period and have swollen legs, it may be time to see a doctor. Visit Vein Specialists in Fort Myers or Bonita Springs to learn more about the possible causes. Although leg swelling and pain are not always linked with vein issues, venous disease is a common cause. If caught early, there are minimally invasive swollen leg treatment options. These treatments can prevent serious complications of untreated venous disease.

Common health issues that may cause swollen legs include:

  • Venous Insufficiency
  • Lymphedema
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Obesity
  • Preeclampsia In Pregnancy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Hypothyroidism
Swollen leg
woman holding swollen leg

Don’t Let Swollen Legs Go Untreated

Ignoring swollen legs may not be in your best interest. They can be a sign of a serious, undiagnosed health problem. Pain and tenderness in your legs may indicate the need to seek further assistance to determine the underlying cause.

If you do not pursue swollen leg treatment, swollen legs may lead to:

  • Poorly-Healing Wounds
  • Blood Clots In Your Legs
  • Infections
  • Disability

How to Reduce Swollen Legs

You may think swollen legs do not require a visit to the doctor. However, leg swelling could be a sign of a serious problem and may often be related to vein disease. Obtaining an expert evaluation of your veins is a logical step. A vein specialist can determine whether vein disease is the cause and the best-swollen leg treatment for you.

Quite often, non-vein specialist physicians may order a standard venous ultrasound. This is to rule out blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This type of ultrasound does not always evaluate the one-way valves in leg veins to see if they are operating as they should. Checking your venous system for possible clots is very important. The problem is standard venous ultrasounds for DVT often miss the underlying cause of swollen legs: venous insufficiency. As a result, your initial clinical evaluation could result in a “normal” diagnosis or a “negative clot” result. You may need a more specialized ultrasound to rule out venous insufficiency as the underlying problem.

When to See a Doctor for Swollen Legs

Occasional swelling in your legs may not be a cause for concern. If it becomes an issue that cannot be controlled through lifestyle changes, it’s time to see a doctor. If you develop blisters or sores in the swollen areas, these are also signs you need an evaluation.

Swelling only on one side is perhaps the most worrisome sign you should seek expert vein care. One-sided swelling may indicate a blood clot or DVT, which, if untreated, can cause further issues for your health. A vein expert like Dr. Magnant will evaluate your symptoms. He can also look at your physical signs, discuss your medical history, and recommend a swollen leg treatment plan.

Vein Specialists Knows Veins Best

At our Vein Specialists locations in Fort Myers or Bonita Springs, we use the latest ultrasound equipment. This allows us to get an inside look at the performance of your vascular system. Our experienced team of registered vascular sonographers will perform a comprehensive venous ultrasound on your legs. They pay close attention to every detail to determine if the cause of your swelling is vein related. Based on the outcome of your comprehensive ultrasound, our team will help you decide on the best-swollen leg treatment. We will do our best to get you on the road to healthier-feeling legs.

Best Treatments for Swollen Legs

If venous insufficiency is causing your swelling, Vein Specialists in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers offers many treatment options. Treatments range from conservative compression therapy to minimally invasive procedures to eliminate the underlying venous insufficiency. Depending on your diagnosis, our team will determine the most effective swollen leg treatment option for you.

Compression Therapy

Unlike other swollen leg treatment options, the use of compression therapy does not require a procedure. When you visit Vein Specialists, Dr. Magnant and his staff will professionally measure your legs and can prescribe medical-grade compression stockings. We recommend you wear them to relieve venous insufficiency related symptoms. Insurance companies often require using compression stockings before considering other treatments. This can include the closure of the leaking veins (endovenous ablation).

Endovenous Ablation

This minimally invasive treatment option helps eliminate the swelling in your legs. It seals off the diseased or leaky veins that contribute to swelling. Under local anesthesia, Dr. Magnant places a thin catheter into the faulty vein. He uses either heat or medical adhesive to close off the leaking vein. Once the leaky vein is sealed, your body’s venous circulation improves. Swollen legs related to vein disease improve over time.


Surgical removal of varicose veins is a common practice in the treatment of venous disease. Microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive, outpatient vein-removal procedure. We perform it under local anesthesia through tiny incisions. It only takes about 30 minutes to perform in-office at Vein Specialists in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs. We often perform it at the time of endovenous ablation. If varicose veins have not adequately decompressed three to four weeks after endovenous closure, we may recommend microphlebectomy.

Dr. Magnant and his team use advanced venous ultrasound mapping of your leaky veins. This determines the source of your vein problems. Endovenous ablation and varicose vein removal (microphlebectomy) are possible without large incisions or significant discomfort.

VenaSeal™ Vein Treatment

VenaSeal™ is one of the swollen leg treatment options we provide in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers. This minimally invasive procedure involves the use of minimal local anesthesia and a safe, FDA-approved medical adhesive. It has a very low risk of potential complications and a fast recovery time.

Dr. Magnant and his team perform an ultrasound on your legs to locate the diseased vein. They apply a local anesthetic and inject the faulty vein with specially formulated medical adhesive. This effectively closes it off. Once the diseased vein is closed off, blood is rerouted through other healthy veins. Swollen legs due to venous insufficiency will improve over time.

Injection Sclerotherapy

Injection sclerotherapy is an excellent option to eliminate leftover saphenous vein segments after sealing larger leaky veins. During this swollen leg treatment, a safe, FDA-approved chemical solution is injected into the problem vein. This inflames the vein wall and closes it off, effectively eliminating the problem veins. It may take 8 to 12 weeks to achieve maximum results, and repeat treatments may be necessary. 

Swollen Leg Treatment You Can Trust

Dr. Magnant is a Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon and has been practicing vascular surgery for nearly 30 years. Since 2006, he and his team of advanced registered nurse practitioners at Vein Specialists have been helping patients. We have located 2 convenient locations in Southwest Florida, but welcome patients from everywhere.

With the advancements made in diagnostic and treatment options for the venous disease over the last 15 to 20 years, there is no reason for you to live with swollen legs and pain due to venous insufficiency any longer. Contact the trusted Vein Specialists team to ensure your swollen legs are not an indication of a more serious health problem. Using the latest technology in ultrasound and vein treatments available, we will help you get your healthy legs back.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes swelling in one leg only?

    The cause of swelling in just one leg may vary. Common reasons include a blood clot or DVT, Venous Insufficiency, muscle strain or a problem in the lymphatic system. It is important to talk to a vein expert like Dr. Joseph Magnant about your swollen leg evaluation and treatment options.

  • How do you reduce swelling in legs?

    Conservative measures like elevating your feet, drinking plenty of water and taking short walks can help you reduce leg swelling. If your symptoms persist, ask your doctor if you should pursue a formal swollen leg evaluation.

  • When should I worry about leg swelling?

    When you’ve been on your feet for long periods of time, it’s normal to experience some leg swelling. However, if you experience chronic swelling on a daily basis, it’s time to see a doctor. Your swollen legs may indicate a bigger health threat.

  • How long should I elevate my legs to reduce swelling?

    How long you elevate your swollen legs depends on how long they’ve been swollen. For most people, 20 minutes a day is enough. However, if swelling persists, consider 30 minutes to an hour several times per day.

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