Venous insufficiency is a chronic condition in which blood pools in the legs instead of flowing back to the heart, leading to varicose veins and other complications. This common condition affects up to 40 percent of Americans, according to data from the Society for Vascular Surgery. If you are starting to notice the appearance of veins on parts of your body, then it is a good idea to learn more about how venous insufficiency develops, what symptoms you may experience and how this condition is treated.
What Causes Venous Insufficiency?
This condition is caused by a problem with the valves in the veins that carry blood from the legs to the heart. While a normal valve keeps blood from flowing backwards, a damaged valve allows unwanted backflow. This valve damage can be caused by high blood pressure or deep vein thrombosis. Venous insufficiency is more common among women, older adults, those who are overweight, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, those who smoke and anyone with a family history of varicose veins. Women who are pregnant are also prone to venous insufficiency.
What Symptoms Are Caused by This Condition?
If you have venous insufficiency, you may experience varicose veins, swelling in the legs, itching, cramping, sores or ulcers, aching and changes in skin color in the affected area.
How is Venous Insufficiency Treated?
In most cases, wearing compression stockings can help to ease the symptoms of venous insufficiency. You can also benefit from regular exercise, especially walking; avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time, which can cause the fluid to pool in your legs; and raising your legs above your heart when laying down. If you are overweight, our doctor may recommend that you lose weight.
Can Surgical Procedures Help This Condition?
For people with venous insufficiency, minimally-invasive treatments can help to alleviate symptoms. These include sclerotherapy, in which the vein dissolves after injection with a special solution; VeinGogh™, in which heat is used to remove the affected vein; Venefit™, in which the affected vein is treated through radiofrequency energy; and more!
Schedule an appointment at The Vein Center in Mount Pleasant if you develop varicose veins that are painful; if your condition does not improve despite wearing compression stockings and taking other self-care steps; or if you have sudden leg pain, swelling or redness. Our team of venous experts will work closely with you to come up with a treatment plan that is right for alleviating your symptoms. Contact us today to book your consultation.