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What is venous insufficiency?

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins in the legs are unable to properly pump blood back to the heart. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including pain, swelling, and skin changes in the affected area.

The primary cause of venous insufficiency is damage to the valves in the veins. These valves are responsible for ensuring that blood flows in the correct direction and does not pool in the legs. When the valves are damaged, blood can flow backwards and pool in the legs, leading to the symptoms of venous insufficiency.

Risk factors for developing venous insufficiency include age, a family history of the condition, pregnancy, and a history of deep vein thrombosis. People who are overweight or obese, or who have a sedentary lifestyle, are also at increased risk.

Treatment for venous insufficiency typically begins with lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, losing weight, and avoiding prolonged standing or sitting. Compression stockings may also be prescribed to help improve blood flow in the legs.

In more severe cases, more invasive treatment options may be necessary. These can include sclerotherapy, in which a solution is injected into the affected vein to close it off, or endovenous thermal ablation, in which a laser or radiofrequency energy is used to seal the vein.

Surgery may also be required in some cases, such as when the valves in the veins are severely damaged.

It's important to seek treatment for venous insufficiency, as untreated cases can lead to more serious complications, such as skin ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency.

To prevent venous insufficiency, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, avoid prolonged sitting or standing, and elevate your legs when you can.

In summary, venous insufficiency is a condition where the veins in legs cannot properly pump the blood back to heart which may lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, and skin changes. It is caused by damage to the valves in the veins and is treated with lifestyle changes, compression stockings, sclerotherapy, endovenous thermal ablation, surgery, and by preventing it with healthy diet, exercise, and by avoiding prolonged standing or sitting.

Central Valley Vein and Wound are leaders in the valley of treatment of venous insufficiency. Call our office!

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