An Introduction to Chronic Venous Insufficiency
We find that many of our patients have questions about chronic vein disease or chronic venous insufficiency. Often, venous insufficiencies—especially varicose veins—go untreated, as most think of them as a cosmetic issue, rather than a potential medical issue. As the preeminent vein specialists in the area, we want to ensure that our clients have the best information about what can become a serious issue.
What is Venous Insufficiency?
Basically, venous insufficiency is a condition wherein there is a blood flow problem within the veins that carry the blood back to the heart. The veins contain valves that control the blood flow to the heart. When the valves breakdown or fail, the blood can back up or pool within the veins. This pooling leads to vein conditions such as varicose veins.
J Epidemiol Community Health. 1999 Mar;53(3):149-53.
Causes of Venous Insufficiency
Venous insufficiency can be caused by several factors, including high blood pressure. Those likely to develop vein disease include those who are:
• Have a family history
• Lack regular physical activity
Chronic Venous Insufficiency Symtoms
There are several main symptoms of chronic vein disease, including:
• Varicose veins
• Sores or skin ulcers
• Skin color changes
• Feelings of achiness and/or heaviness
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis of venous insufficiency is done through an exam of the legs and a Doppler ultrasound toto determine blood flow in the legs.
Chronic venous insufficiency, in its earliest stages, can be treated by wearing compression stockings which can reduce swelling and pain. Additionally, compression garments can also help skin ulcers heal. In many cases, increasing physical activity can help alleviate the symptoms. Sitting or standing for long periods of time should also be avoided, and elevating the legs is advised.
Should the condition be more advanced, vein treatments such as laser ablation or sclerotherapy may be indicated. Older chronic venous insufficiency treatment methods such as vein stripping have been replaced by these more advanced procedures.
St. Louis Laser Vein Center
Should you be concerned about varicose veins or other vein conditions, Dr. Wright and his staff at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center invite you to schedule a consultation. Dr. Wright is an expert in the field of diagnosing and treating vein conditions and diseases.