Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when valves in the veins of the legs are not working effectively, allowing blood to pool in the lower extremities instead of returning to the heart. Valve damage is most often the result of aging or reduced mobility. CVI can cause edema (swelling) and may even lead to leg ulcers. Ulcers increase your risk of injury and infection. It is crucial that chronic venous insufficiency be treated correctly.
What are the symptoms?
- Leg swelling, especially after extended periods of standing
- Rash or itching of the skin on the legs or feet
- Changes in the color of the skin, often around the ankle
- Painful, aching or tired legs
- Stasis ulcers
- New varicose veins
How is CVI diagnosed?
To diagnose CVI, visit a board-certified physician who is certified in venous and lymphatic medicine. At Premier Dermatology, Dr. Brent Taylor will take a complete medical history and physical exam, during which he will thoroughly examine your legs. Next, a vascular ultrasound will be performed by a registered vascular technologist to check the blood flow in the superficial and deep veins in order to pinpoint the exact cause of your problem. Dr. Taylor will then review these scans, educate you on his findings, discuss with you the available treatment options and work with your to formulate your best treatment plan.
How is CVI treated?
Like any disease, CVI is most effectively treated in its early stages. The objective of treatment is to prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities. Some basic treatment strategies include: exercise regularly, lose weight if you are overweight, wear compression stockings, elevate your legs while sitting or lying down, stop smoking and practice good skin hygiene. When basic treatment strategies prove ineffective in tackling your CVI problem.
Today there are two safe, minimally invasive and highly effective, treatment options available to help alleviate the symptoms and underlying causes of CVI. When performed by a qualified, board certified physician, Endovenous Laser Ablation, and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy can prove to be effective in successfully treating chronic venous insufficiency.