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Vascular Surgery

Swelling in extremities

08/25/2003

Question:

Periodically, I have swelling of my hands or feet. I have also had the swelling at the same time in one of my lips. It has happened 3 times in past few years, and lasts a few days. My family doctor wants me to see a vascular surgeon next time it happens. Swelling appears to be just in the extremities. I am not able to connect it with anything dietetic, environmental, or stress-related. Any ideas?

Answer:

Swelling in both lower extremities can be secondary to heart problems (coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure), excessive sodium intake, prolonged sitting or standing, or even medication related. If the swelling occurs toward the end of the day in both legs after you have been up on your feet for your job, etc, then this may be secondary to venous insufficiency and can be remedied through the use of compression/support stockings on both legs. Swelling of the lips as well suggests more of an allergic reaction. Best of luck! 

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated