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Leg Swelling

James Kim, MD -  - Cardiologist

James Kim, MD

Cardiologist & Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases located in National City, CA & Chula Vista, CA

Leg swelling is a common early warning sign of heart disease. At his practice in National City and Chula Vista, California, James Kim, MD, offers expert diagnosis to determine if your leg swelling is due to a cardiovascular health problem, as well as personalized treatment plans to restore and protect your health. If you’re concerned about leg swelling, call or schedule a consultation online today.

Leg Swelling Q & A

What causes leg swelling?

Swelling, also called edema, occurs when fluid accumulates in your soft tissue. While there are many causes of edema, cardiovascular health problems commonly cause leg swelling. 

When your heart doesn’t work correctly, your circulation can slow, causing your blood to back up in the veins of your legs. As a result, fluid can escape your blood vessels and get trapped in the soft tissues of your legs. 

This can also contribute to problems with the valves in the veins of your legs, leading to varicose veins and other uncomfortable symptoms like cramping, itching, and skin texture changes. 

When should I talk to a doctor about leg swelling?

If you notice swelling in your legs, you should mention it to your physician, as it’s an indicator of several health problems. It’s even more critical to talk to Dr. Kim about leg swelling if you have other signs of cardiovascular health issues such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

Knowing the early warning signs of cardiovascular health problems helps you know when to seek medical attention. If you notice changes in your health, from swollen feet and ankles to chest pain, shortness of breath, and low energy levels, you should make an appointment to find out what’s causing your symptoms. 

How do you diagnose the cause of leg swelling?

Dr. Kim begins with a thorough exam. He reviews your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle factors. He also listens to your heart and checks your pulse, blood pressure, and blood oxygenation. 

Dr. Kim orders blood tests and other diagnostic tests to evaluate your cardiovascular health. Depending on your needs, he might order chest X-rays, echocardiograms, vascular ultrasounds, electrocardiograms, stress testing, or cardiac catheterization. 

How do you treat leg swelling?

After diagnosing the condition causing your edema, Dr. Kim creates a customized treatment plan to address the underlying cause. Depending on your condition and other health needs, your plan could include:

  • Dietary adjustments
  • Daily exercise
  • Compression stockings
  • Medication

When necessary, Dr. Kim can also provide surgical interventions such as angioplasty or bypass surgery to improve circulation in your legs, as well as interventions to enhance your heart health and function. 

For expert diagnosis and treatment for leg swelling, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at the office of James Kim, MD, online or by phone today.