Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the veins in your legs are unable to send blood back to your heart properly. This can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, swelling, and skin changes. CVI is a common condition that affects up to 3 million Americans. Although it can occur at any age, it is most common in people over 50. Many factors can increase your risk for CVI, including obesity, pregnancy, smoking, and lack of exercise.
In addition, chronic venous insufficiency can be caused by damage to the veins from injury or surgery. Your doctor can help you choose the best option for you based on the severity of your symptoms. These may include swelling in your legs or ankles, a tight feeling in your calves, itchiness or pain in your legs, and brown-colored skin near your ankles. In some cases, you may also develop varicose veins, leg ulcers, or restless legs syndrome. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that the cause can be properly diagnosed and treated.
How Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Diagnosed?
If not treated, you may have pain, swelling, cramps, skin changes, varicose veins, or leg ulcers. Chronic venous insufficiency is not a severe health threat, but it can be painful and disabling. Please talk to your doctor if you think you may have this condition. They can diagnose it with a physical exam and special tests. Treatments can help relieve the symptoms.
Big city institutions like Los Angeles and Dallas vein clinics always look at a patient’s eating habits first. These are often the first preventive measures that doctors recommend to their patients. Those who have no family history of varicose veins often suffer from them because of excessive weight or obesity. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can help prevent varicose veins’ development. In addition, eating a healthy diet is important for overall vascular health.
Chronic venous insufficiency is usually diagnosed with a medical history and physical exam. Your provider may also order a Duplex ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to look at blood flow and the structure of your veins. The test checks the speed and direction of blood flow in the vessel. If you have chronic venous insufficiency, you may be treated with lifestyle changes, compression stockings, or surgery. Treatment can help relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
Can It Be Treated?
Treatment for chronic venous insufficiency typically involves lifestyle changes and medical therapies. Your healthcare provider may recommend compression stockings, elevate your legs, and exercise regularly. You may also be prescribed medication to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Treatments may include endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation.
With endovenous laser ablation, a small, thin tube (catheter) enters the vein and delivers heat via laser or radiofrequency energy to the vein’s wall. This causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. Once the vein is closed, blood flow is redirected to healthier veins, and symptoms such as pain, heaviness, fatigue, swelling, and cramping improve. EVLA is a safe and effective alternative to more traditional surgical treatments for varicose veins and can be performed in the comfort of our office. The procedure takes less than an hour, and most patients return to their normal activities immediately following treatment.
Sclerotherapy, in which a chemical is injected into the affected veins, may be used if your case is more serious. Surgery is done in severe cases. Ligation, a type of surgery in which the affected vein is tied off, so blood no longer flows through it, may be used. Your doctor will determine the best treatment for you based on the severity of your condition and your preferences.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, it is important to talk to your doctor. There are many treatments available, and most cases can be successfully managed with lifestyle changes and medical therapies. Don’t wait – get help today!