What Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
When the veins in your legs have difficulty pumping enough blood back to the heart, this is called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI occurs when the valves in the veins of the legs don’t work properly, causing fluid to collect and pool, which can lead to varicose veins and other problems. You are more at risk for developing CVI if you are older, female, overweight, a smoker, or have a family history of varicose veins.
What Causes CVI?
CVI in the leg can develop for many reasons, including:
- Deep vein thrombosis, in which blood clots are present in deep veins
- An irregular passageway between an artery and a vein
- Inflammation of the vein (phlebitis)
- Problems with blood coagulation (thrombophilia)
- Being extremely overweight
- High blood pressure inside the leg veins
What are the Symptoms?
If you experience any of the following, you may have CVI:
- Chronic swelling in the legs and ankles
- Varicose veins
- Tight feeling calves or itchy painful legs
- Darkening in the skin (hyperpigmentation)
- Skin thickening
- Venous ulcers that are sometimes very resistant to treatment
- Pain (an indicator in venous disease that is often overlooked and undertreated)
How is it treated?
Your doctor may recommend the following to treat CVI:
- Wearing compression stockings to reduce pain and swelling and help venous ulcers heal
- More exercise like walking to increase blood flow
- Regularly elevating your legs to lessen the pooling of fluid and reduce swelling
- Configuring your bed using pillows or a bed wedge so that your feet are above your heart
Could you be at risk for chronic venous insufficiency? Contact Reeder Vein Institute.
For more information about diagnosing and treating CVI, contact us today. You can reach us directly at 972.566.3040 in Dallas or 817.438.7260 in Fort Worth. We look forward to hearing from you!