Skip to main content

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Recognizing Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is a common physical condition that can present itself in a variety of different ways. Probably the most recognized symptom of CVI is the development of varicose veins. Chronic venous insufficiency can affect all age groups. It is ten times more prevalent than Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Studies show over 20,000 patients are diagnosed with venous ulcers each year. More than 30 million Americans live with varicose veins or a more serious form of venous disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). Only 1.9 million seek treatment annually meaning that the vast majority of cases go undiagnosed and untreated.

Varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency can be caused by many different factors. Among the most common risk factors are:

  • Advancing Age,
  • DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis),
  • Extended Hours on Your Feet,
  • Female Gender,
  • Genetic Disposition (Family History),
  • Obesity,
  • Past History of Phlebitis and
  • Pregnancy

Other possible health factors include:

  • Constipation,
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy,
  • Hypertension,
  • Oral Contraceptives,
  • Physical Activity and
  • Smoking

Great Saphenous Vein 

The great saphenous vein (GSV) is a large vein located directly below the dermis and epidermis. Also called the long saphenous vein, it is a superficial vein of the leg. Running along the entire length of the lower limb, it is the longest vein in the body. The GSV returns blood from the foot, leg and thigh to the deep femoral vein at the femoral triangle. Due to its length, the great saphenous vein is often the site of chronic venous insufficiency. Weak or damaged valves can make it impossible for the vein to push the blood against gravity on its return trip to the heart. 

Diagnosing Chronic Venous Insufficiency

If you suspect that you or someone you love is suffering from chronic venous insufficiency, make an appointment today. Only a properly trained medical professional can properly diagnose and start you down the path to a symptom-free life. During your appointment, he or she will address your:

  • current general health condition,
  • past medical history and
  • symptoms.

The physician will also want to perform a physical exam.

An ultrasound diagnostic study may also be ordered to: 

  • determine the source of reflux,
  • check for venous occlusion or thrombus and/or
  • map the path of the incompetent superficial veins 

What Are Treatment Options For Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency has so many different type of treatments, and after observing your health, age and medical history, your doctor may recommend you these treatments:

  1. Endovenous Laser Ablation

This procedure is often used to treat problems like spider veins and varicose veins, but it can be used to treat venous insufficiency as well.

Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive surgery, during the procedure your surgeon will insert a small tube inside your affected vein through an incision.

This tube will release heat inside your vein which will collapse it, when this happens blood pooling will decrease and your blood flow will be improved.

  1. Improving Your Blood Circulation

Although it’s not a medical treatment it’s still very effective, there are many methods that can help you improve circulation, such as:

  • If you keep your legs elevated then you can decrease dwellings and improve your circulation.
  • Some exercises like swimming and walking can increase your blood flow but avoid high impact exercises, they may can some side effects.
  1. Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure just like Endovenous Laser Ablation, However, your surgeon will recommend you this procedure if only your cases is serious.

In this process your doctor will inject a salty chemical inside your affected veins, this chemical will make your veins collapse and close, they may scar your veins too.

After this your treated veins will be absorbed by the body, then the blood can flow through the other veins which will prevent blood pooling and provide an improved circulation system.

Although it’s the most used treatment for varicose veins, some paitents may not get results therefore, in such situation you should take more than one sessions since everyone has a different body that’s why the treatment may work differently on everyone.