Peripheral venous disease (PVD) is a serious condition affecting approximately 40 million Americans. This number is very nebulous due to the fact that venous disease is one of the most under-recognized and misunderstood disease processes in medicine. Often patients are asymptomatic but they can also present with pain, restless legs, swelling in the feet or legs, skin discoloration, varicose or spiders veins. As we age, if untreated, venous disease will progress and in the most extreme cases can lead to ulcers, infections, amputations, blood clots, or even death.
The only way to prevent the possible progression and complications of PVD is timely diagnosis and treatment. Tests such as ultrasound and venography are common diagnostic tools. In addition to these, new and innovative methods such as thermal imaging continue to be developed and implemented with encouraging results.
What is Thermal Imaging?
Thermal imaging, or infrared thermography, is the use of infrared (IR) cameras to see variations in temperature across the skin. Many diseases affect body temperature through blood flow changes or inflammation. These temperature gradients can be detected by special IR cameras and visually represented through color variations. When a physician spots an unusual difference in temperature, they can gain valuable insight about what is happening underneath the surface of the skin.
How can Thermal Imaging be Used to Diagnose PVD?
Blood is pumped back to the heart by the veins. PVD is the result of either insufficient (“leaky”) valves in the veins or extravascular compression that leads to blood pooling in the legs. As the blood pools causes temperatures to increases in the legs and feet. These temperature changes can be quickly and easily identified through thermal imaging and thus can be used as a screening test for PVD.
Thermal imaging to detect PVD is a quick, simple, and effective test that can be performed in the outpatient setting. Based on the resulting images, your cardiologist can suggest further testing and recommend potential treatment options to safeguard the health of your limbs and cardiovascular system.
PVD Diagnosis and Treatment in Louisiana
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from PVD, it is important that you seek medical attention as quickly as possible. The sooner the condition can be diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated, and early treatment can greatly reduce the risk of complications down the road. To request an appointment with me or any one of the many highly-skilled cardiologists at CIS, click the link below. Together, we can take the steps needed to protect you against PVD!