Dealing with Chronic Venous Insufficiency
- Posted on: Dec 15 2017
Your veins are responsible for taking de-oxygenated blood and returning it to the heart and lungs. They are meant to be one-way highways, but it becomes harder when those highways are fighting gravity the entire way, such as in the legs. To keep the blood moving, the body employs the muscles in your feet and calves to help squeeze the veins and push the blood upward. Also, the veins have one-way valves to prevent backflow.
But as we get older the venous wall and the valves can begin to fail, and the blood can collect in the veins. This is a condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), and it can lead to varicose veins, swelling in the legs and ankles, itching skin on the legs and feet, and even skin infections.
We treat chronic venous insufficiency at Nevada Vein and Vascular.
What causes chronic venous insufficiency?
CVI occurs when the valves in the veins become damaged, allowing the blood to leak backward. This allows pooling in the veins. Deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs, can cause this. It can also be the result of aging, as our tissues weaken. Extended sitting or standing or obesity also leads to CVI. The condition is more common in women and people over the age of 50.
What are the risk factors for CVI?
There are various risk factors that make it more likely a person will develop CVI:
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Varicose veins
- Extended period of sitting or standing
- Being a female
- Passing your 50thbirthday
How do we treat CVI at Nevada Vein and Vascular?
After diagnosis, which usually includes a detailed ultrasound, we develop a treatment plan. Treatments usually include a combination of compression therapy, endovenous ablation, and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. Sometimes, if these methods don’t correct your CVI, surgery may be necessary.
These are some things you can do on your own:
- Regular exercise, particularly walking
- Weight loss, if you’re obese
- Avoiding long periods of sitting or standing
- Elevating your legs when sitting or lying down (legs need to be above your heart)
- Wearing compression stockings
Posted in: Vein Treatments