Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a medical condition that affects the valves and/or venous walls in the leg. In this condition, the valves are unable to efficiently return the blood from the legs back to the heart. As a result, blood begins to collect, leading to a condition called stasis.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
The veins return all the blood from the body’s organs back to the heart. To reach it, this blood must flow upwards in the legs. Muscles in the calves and feet must contract and push the veins so that the blood pushes upwards. The blood keeps flowing upwards and doesn’t surge backward due to valves in the veins.
When CVI occurs, these valves become impaired, causing the blood to flow backward. Damage may happen due to extended standing or sitting, reduced mobility, and even aging. When the valves and veins weaken to a point where the blood is not adequately flowing upwards, the blood pressure in these paths becomes elevated, causing CVI.
Why Do People Develop CVI?
One of the most common reasons for developing CVI is the presence of blood clots in the veins. This disease is called deep vein thrombosis. Approximately 30% of patients with DVT are likely to develop CVI. Chronic venous insufficiency may also occur due to vascular malformations or pelvic tumors.
When the veins and valves are unable to keep the blood flowing upwards, it causes sluggish movement of the blood, eventually leading to swelling in the legs.
Certain conditions make you prone to developing CVI. These include:
• Varicose veins
• Blood clots
• Family history of CVI
• Trauma or injury to the legs
• Extends periods of standing or sitting
How Do I Know If I Have CVI?
The prognosis, severity, and complexity of CVI increase with time if left untreated. You must visit Dr. Dishakjian immediately if you notice the following symptoms:
• New varicose veins
• Tiredness or pain in the legs
• Inflammation in the ankles and legs after extended periods of remaining upright
• Itching or flaking on the feet and legs
• Leathery skin
• Stasis ulcers
What Are the Treatment and Management Options for CVI?
Like many diseases, CVI is best treated in the early stages. With CVI, the earlier you begin to treat this condition, the better the chances of recovery.
Dr. Dishakjian often recommends a combination treatment plan for individuals with CVI. A few of these treatment options include the following:
• Regular exercises such as jogging and walking
• Avoiding sitting or standing for lengthy periods. If your work or lifestyle require you to sit or stand for long periods, take time out every hour to flex your ankles, feet, toes, and legs. This promotes blood flow.
• Wear compression socks or stockings
• Lose excess weight
• When lying down or sitting, elevate your legs above your head
• Take antibiotics if required to treat infections
This combination treatment will help to minimize blood pooling in your legs and prevent the occurrence of ulcers.
Get This Condition Treated Today
If you’re interested in learning more about how to address CVI, contact our office to schedule a consultation with skilled vein specialist Dr. Raffi Dishakjian. He will gladly assess your bodily needs and answer any of the questions you have about the procedure.