What You Need to Know About Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Legs with Varicose Veins and Vein diagrm

Chronic venous insufficiency can negatively impact your quality of life and result in a range of symptoms from varicose veins, swelling and pain, to leg ulcers. Here’s what you need to know.

If you suffer from venous disease, you’re not alone. Around 40 percent of people in the U.S. are affected by this condition, yet 90 percent of individuals with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) don’t seek treatment. If your quality of life is suffering due to chronic venous insufficiency, schedule an appointment with a vein doctor to discuss your treatment options. Here’s what you need to know about chronic venous insufficiency, its causes, and treatment options.

What Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Your vein’s valves are responsible for ensuring that blood flows toward your heart. However, if these valves begin to weaken or malfunction, your blood may start flowing backward and pool in your legs. Chronic venous insufficiency can affect both superficial and deep veins.

If left untreated, CVI can lead to swelling in your legs and ankles, feelings of tightness in your calves, painful leg cramps, muscle spasms, skin discoloration (often near the ankles), itchy or restless legs, leg ulcers, and varicose veins. Untreated chronic venous insufficiency can also lead to potentially life-threatening blood clot formation in deep veins — known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT can cause swelling, postphlebitic syndrome, and pulmonary embolisms.

What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Smoking, obesity, pregnancy, genetics, and blood clots are some of the causes of CVI. Other common risk factors include high blood pressure, sitting or standing for extended periods, and previous leg damage from injury, blood clots, or surgery.

To diagnose chronic venous insufficiency, your doctor will review your medical history and perform an exam. They may also order a Duplex ultrasound to understand your leg veins’ structure. They’ll also be able to see the speed and direction of blood flow in your blood vessels on your ultrasound.

What Are Some Treatments For Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

There are several available treatment options for chronic venous insufficiency, ranging from conservative treatment such as lifestyle changes and wearing compression stockings to surgery. Your healthcare provider will take your overall health, age, medical history, symptoms, and previous reactions to treatments, medicines, and therapies into account when creating a treatment plan. They may also consider the severity of your condition when suggesting treatment options.

Treatment options include:

  • Wearing compression stockings: Compression stockings apply more pressure at the foot than higher up on the leg, encouraging veins in your lower legs to push blood toward your heart. The gradient pressure provided by compression stockings promotes healthy blood circulation, minimizes leg swelling or cramping, and prevents deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins.
  • Elevating your legs: Keeping your legs elevated is one of the simplest ways to increase blood flow and reduce swelling.

  • Exercising regularly: Exercising regularly can go a long way in improving blood circulation in your legs. Plus, exercising can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, reducing the amount of pressure placed on the valves in your veins.

  • Varithena: Minimally-invasive treatment Varithena is a non-surgical procedure where medicine is injected into the affected veins, collapsing the veins. The blood is then redirected to healthy vessels.

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and Laser Ablation: Both of these minimally invasive procedures use heat to close the vein. Laser Ablation and Radiofrequency Ablation both cause blood to be naturally rerouted through nearby healthier veins, reducing or eliminating CVI symptoms.

  • Sclerotherapy: During this minimally invasive procedure, your doctor will carefully inject a chemical foam into the affected veins, causing them to scar. These scarred veins will be unable to carry blood, causing your blood to return to your heart through other veins. Eventually, your body will absorb the scarred veins.

  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy: During this minimally invasive procedure, diseased veins are removed through tiny incisions. This treatment involves minimal discomfort and downtime.

Seek Treatment Today

With state-of-the-art tools and experienced professionals, Center for Vein Restoration has helped thousands of patients overcome chronic venous insufficiency. If you suffer from chronic venous insufficiency, don’t worry. Center for Vein Restoration offers fast and minimally invasive treatment options that will help make (and keep) your veins healthy. Request a consultation with us today.

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