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Chronic Venous Insufficiency

What is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)?

When veins in the leg function properly, leg movement, such as walking, causes muscles to contract and blood to be pumped back up to the heart through a series of valves. Healthy valves maintain a normal pressure, moving blood along as they open and close. When a vein or valve is diseased, damaged, or weakened, however, blood may pool or drain backward. This may result in a number of conditions, including varicose veins. Left untreated, these conditions may lead to chronic venous insufficiency.

Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency.

CVI shares many of the same symptoms that other conditions present, including:

  • Pain that worsens when standing and improves when legs are raised
  • Tingling sensations and itching in the leg
  • Cramping, aching, and a sense of heaviness
  • Skin changes, such as red or swollen areas
  • Varicose veins
  • Leg ulcers that are slow to heal

CVI risk factors and causes.

It is estimated that more than 2.5 million people suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. Some patients may suffer from this condition due to:

  • A history of blood clots in the leg
  • A history of CVI in the family
  • Age
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Long periods of standing or sitting on the job

In addition, females may be more susceptible to developing CVI due to hormone levels.

Prevention measures include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding sitting or standing for prolonged, uninterrupted periods of time, increasing daily activity, and seeking early treatment for any signs of CVI.

Diagnosing and treating CVI.

Our board-certified interventional radiologists will consult with you and discuss all of your treatment options. These include compression stockings to improve blood flow, sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, or endovenous laser ablation. Our vascular specialists are experts in using the latest minimally invasive procedures to treat chronic venous insufficiency and other vascular conditions.

Depending up the procedure that’s best for your needs, treatment time is often less than an hour, and you should be able to quickly return to your normal activities.

If you have symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, we invite you to schedule a free vascular analysis.

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