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Peripheral Venous Disease Causes

Peripheral venous disease is a condition that causes veins of the outer extremities to have difficulty returning blood to the heart. This occurs when the veins are damaged, weakened, or otherwise blocked. Although there are a variety of factors that can contribute to peripheral venous disease, the most common are blood clots that range in severity from superficial cases that rarely result in significant complications, to serious cases that may result in potentially life-threatening problems. Blockages and restrictions in the veins can also be caused by air bubbles, parts of a tumor, and fat from the marrow of a broken bone.

To schedule an appointment with the Heart and Vascular Institute, call 813-844-3900 or email

There are certain risk factors that do not directly cause peripheral venous disease, but do put patients at an elevated risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Undergoing surgery (especially joint replacements)
  • Long periods of inactivity, including bedrest and airplane travel
  • Pregnancy
  • Advanced age
  • Obesity
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Use of oral birth control

At Tampa General Hospital, our team of vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, and other physicians are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular conditions, including peripheral venous disease. At our ultrasound vascular laboratory, we use advanced technologies to perform peripheral venous testing and other examinations to accurately determine the type and severity of each patient’s unique condition.

Our multispecialty team then develops individualized treatment plans that account for each patient’s overall health, medical history, and specific peripheral venous disease causes, which results in the highest likelihood for a successful outcome. These treatments may include self-directed cures, such as exercise; minor interventions, such as bandaging and compression; and, when necessary, surgical intervention. Our team has extensive experience performing complex surgeries, including vena cava filter implantation and VNUS Closure® to prevent more serious medical conditions from occurring. Additionally, we can provide life-saving intervention for patients whose peripheral venous disease has caused serious complications, such as a pulmonary embolism.