It’s not uncommon to have leg swelling after sitting or standing for an extended period. However, leg swelling may also be a symptom of an underlying cardiovascular problem. Maryland Cardiology Associates in Greenbelt, Maryland, offers advanced heart and vascular testing to find the root cause of your leg swelling to get you the right treatment. To schedule an evaluation, call the office or book an appointment online today.

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What is leg swelling?

Leg swelling may affect any part of your lower extremities, including your feet, ankles, calves, or thighs. The swelling may develop from excess fluid or inflammation in your legs.

What causes leg swelling?

Leg swelling may occur from any number of causes. In most cases, the swelling develops after spending prolonged periods of time sitting or standing. However, your leg swelling may also be a symptom of an underlying heart or vascular problem.

Some of the common cardiovascular conditions that cause leg swelling include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pericarditis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Thrombophlebitis

Kidney disease may also cause leg swelling.

Though not always a medical emergency, if your leg swelling includes other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, you should seek emergency medical care.

Leg pain with these other symptoms may be signs of a cardiovascular problem, including a heart attack or pulmonary edema.

What happens during an evaluation for leg swelling?

Maryland Cardiology Associates conducts a comprehensive cardiac exam when you come in with complaints of leg swelling. The goal of the exam is to identify any cardiac or vascular problem that may explain your symptom.

The detailed exam consists of three stages: observation, palpation, and auscultation. To gather all the necessary information your cardiologist needs to diagnose the root cause of your leg swelling, they may conduct various tests such as:

  • Stress testing
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Nuclear stress testing
  • Holter monitor
  • Event monitor
  • Echocardiogram
  • QuantaFlo™
  • Upper and lower arterial duplex scan
  • Venous duplex scan
  • Renal ultrasound

The professionals at Maryland Cardiology Associates are highly trained and take great steps to make you feel comfortable during your exam and testing.

How is leg swelling treated?

Treatment for your leg swelling may depend on the underlying cause. Your cardiologist at Maryland Cardiology Associates customizes a plan to match your needs and goals.

Treatment may include:

  • Following a healthy diet
  • Adding regular exercise
  • Not sitting or standing for a prolonged period of time
  • Elevating your feet
  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Prescribing medication to manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol

Maryland Cardiology Associates also performs vascular procedures to treat various conditions that cause leg swelling, including atherectomy or angioplasty and stent placement for PAD.

To schedule your comprehensive cardiac exam at Maryland Cardiology Associates, call the office or book an appointment online today.