When it comes to healthy blood flow and circulation throughout the body, veins play a vital role in moving blood back and forth between the heart. A healthy circulatory system provides the entire body with the blood it requires to function properly. In the event that something goes wrong within the greater network of veins, there are a number of signs and symptoms that point to the underlying condition. When these issues continue over the long-term for a patient it is referred to as chronic venous disease.
It is estimated that over 200,000 new cases of chronic venous disease are diagnosed in the United State each year making it a fairly common disorder to develop. While there is no single cure for chronic venous disease, recognizing the symptoms of this condition early on makes it much easier for physicians to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients. Furthermore, early diagnosis provides a path to a comprehensive and personalized plan of action that takes the severity of a patient’s chronic venous disease into account from the very start. Managing the disease is imperative for those patients looking to maintain a high quality of life for years to come.
Signs and Symptoms Associated with Chronic Venous Insufficiency
In healthy veins, blood moves seamlessly between the heart and the rest of the body thanks to a collection of valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction at all times. When these valves become faulty, blood is suddenly able to flow in the wrong direction and naturally following gravity, will often begin to pool in a patient’s extremities. Physicians often point to this form of venous insufficiency as the primary cause behind the development of varicose veins. As the veins become dilated with the strain of blood pooling, they begin to bulge and can become visible at the surface in shades of purple and blue.
While varicose veins are easy to identify by their visible size and color, there are a variety of other symptoms that are associated with venous insufficiency as well. Some patients with venous insufficiency may experience extreme swelling, discoloration of the skin, skin ulcers, areas around veins that are warm to the touch or even itchy, painful and sore. Those who experience skin ulcers as a symptom of venous insufficiency are generally patients suffering from advanced stages of the condition and should always make seeing a physician a top priority. While it’s generally agreed that many of the chronic symptoms of venous insufficiency are noted in patients 40 years of age and beyond, the condition isn’t exclusive to this age group. Patients much younger than 40 are often diagnosed with the condition when they have a family history of venous insufficiency to their name.
Treating Chronic Venous Disease
Chronic venous disease presents in a variety of stages in patients and therefore, requires a treatment plan that is customized to the individual. While in the past it was often assumed that highly invasive treatment techniques such as vein stripping were the only way to successfully handle chronic venous disease, today, advancements in the field of medicine and cosmetic treatment options provide patients with a wide variety of minimally-invasive choices. These outpatient treatment options eliminate the need for lengthy surgeries that are accompanied with plenty of risks associated with the use of general anesthesia. Instead, patients find they have the option of utilizing local anesthetic and enjoying treatments that come with short and relatively painless recovery periods.
Those patients who are suffering from mild cases of chronic venous disease will likely find wearing compression garments regularly to be highly successful. From socks to sleeves, these compression garments work to promote healthy blood flow in the extremities and when combined with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, can prove to be highly effective.
Those patients suffering from more severe cases of chronic venous disease may need to consider minimally invasive treatment options such as laser ablation or sclerotherapy. These treatments are often performed over a series of sessions and involve collapsing problematic veins using injections or laser-focused heat.
It may be surprising to patients that in many cases, the cost of care for chronic venous disease may be covered by their insurance provider. Unlike cosmetic treatment options for conditions such as spider veins, chronic venous disease can have long-term medical impacts for an individual and treatment may be the best way to maintain a high quality of life later on. In light of this, it’s important for prospective patients to make sure to check with their insurance provider prior to undergoing treatment for chronic venous disease to see what might be covered. As with any medical treatment, the final cost will depend not only on the severity of the case being treated but the number of sessions required to achieve successful results.
Contact Us Today
When you’re considering the benefits of treating chronic venous disease, be sure to contact Dr. Wright and his team at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center today. We’re here to make sure you enjoy the comprehensive vein care you deserve.