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Ankles swollen, vein swollen on forehead after a flight. Why did it return next morning?

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I just returned from Italy and was on a plane for about 14 hours to get back home. My ankles swelled alot and I noticed a vein standing out on my forehead. The swelling went away and the vein disappeared while I was sleeping. But the bulging vein returned the next day. What is causing this?
Posted Fri, 8 Jun 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later

Thanks for writing in.
Long air travel especially in economy class of civilian aircraft causes only one complication to our venous system. It has been given a name " economy class syndrome" that is XXXXXXX venous thrombosis in legs- which are kept in crammed condition due to constraints of space plus dehydration due to air conditioned atmosphere. This may further lead to embolus to lung causing Pulmonary Thrombo-embolism. You will be pleased to learn this was not the case with you. What you had was swelling of ankles which disappeared. Therefore, there might have been temporary stasis of blood in your legs due to immobile condition for long.

Vein prominence on forehead had nothing to do with air travel and fortunately it does not lead us to any disease. Therefore, you had cause for some concern but nothing to worry. Yes, one lesson, one must learn from y our history is while in long haul flight, keep yourself well hydrated (with water and liquids but certainly not alcohol). Secondly, one should not keep legs immobile for too long. One trip in the aisle on your feet from one end of plane to the other, every three hours should do the trick. To be truthful, I really do not know what is causing prominence of vein on forehead.

I hope I have answered your question if you have any follow up query I will be pleased to take that.

Best Wishes

Dr Anil Grover
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