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Venous Insufficiency: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

VenousInsufficiency-left-aThere are many questions surrounding venous insufficiency, especially just how serious of a condition it can be.

What is Venous Insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is a condition that causes a problem with the blood flow within the veins back to the heart. It is also known as chronic venous stasis, or chronic venous insufficiency.

Essentially, veins contain valves that maintain the flow of blood moving in the direction toward the heart. During venous insufficiency, the valves in the veins do not work correctly, leading to blood pooling in the veins. This pool can lead to problems such as varicose veins.

Causes and Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency

There are several causes of venous insufficiency, including high blood pressure and deep vein thrombosis. People who are more likely to develop this condition are:

  • Older
  • Female
  • Overweight
  • Lacking physical activity
  • Smokers
  • Those with a family history of varicose veins

The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Swelling, usually in the ankles
  • Cramping
  • Itching
  • Skin sores or ulcers
  • Changes in skin color
  • A feeling of heaviness or achiness

Venous insufficiency is diagnosed through an examination of the legs. Often an ultrasound test may be used to examine the blood flow in the legs.

Treatment of Venous Insufficiency

In the early stages, venous insufficiency can be treated with compression stockings that can reduce the pain and swelling. These garments can also help any skin ulcers heal. Also, getting more exercise can help increase healthy blood flow. It is also advised that you avoid long periods of sitting and standing. Additionally, raising your legs above your heart while lying down can reduce swelling.

If the condition is more severe, sclerotherapy or laser ablation may be advised. With sclerotherapy, a solution is injected into the vein, causing it to close up and disappear, rerouting the blood to healthy veins. Laser or radiofrequency therapies will also cause the damaged veins to close and reroute the blood. Surgical methods such as vein stripping have essentially been replaced by less invasive treatments such as sclerotherapy and laser treatments.

Don’t Wait, Seek Help Today

If you are exhibiting any symptoms of venous insufficiency or have any concerns that you may develop it, please contact us at Laser Lipo and Vein Center. Dr. Wright and his team are experts in the field of diagnosing and treating all types of vein conditions and diseases.

“VenousInsufficiency-left-a” by James Heilman, MD – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VenousInsufficiency-left-a.jpg#/media/File:VenousInsufficiency-left-a.jpg

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