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 
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