Gravitational Edema/Benign Caval Compression

February 28, 2019

Many people that present with swelling and discoloration of the lower legs may have high pressure in the venous system secondary to abdominal compression / obesity. In order to determine the cause, an ultrasound should be done. If the patient does not have reflux in the superficial or deep system, then more than likely the cause of the discoloration is from the sequelae of high pressure in the abdominal vessels or right heart failure. 

Gravitational edema is a term used for edema that occurs in patients that are not ambulatory. The mechanism of the edema is different that that of Benign Caval Compression but, the pathology is the same.