Chronic Venous Insufficiency

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Definition

Chronic venous insufficiency/varicose veins occurs when valves in your veins don’t work, causing blood to pool in your legs. It may be due to valve dysfunction (usually hereditary) or due to valve destruction after a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot.

Symptoms

Symptoms can range from heaviness and swelling in your legs at the end of the day, to pain and tenderness. Sometimes if the swelling is bad enough, you can develop an ulcer on the inside of your ankle. He can also have a darkened discoloration of the lower leg.

Chronic venous insufficiency can also be related to varicose veins. These veins are enlarged and tortuous close to the surface of the skin. They can also ache, be tender and causes pain. In rare cases, if they are very close to the skin and thin-walled, minor trauma can cause them to bleed.

What are the risk factors?

Chronic venous insufficiency is caused by valve dysfunction which can be hereditary or if there is a history of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot).

How is it diagnosed?

Chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins are typically diagnosed with physical exam and ultrasound.

How is it treated?

Typically, the first line in treatment is compression stockings and leg elevation.
If there are some superficial veins that are enlarged, they can be injected.

Varicose veins can be treated with a variety of techniques including vein stripping or ablation with a laser.

How do I find a physician to treat my condition?

For further questions or to make an appointment please contact the Vascular Health Alliance at 864-454-8272.