Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatments
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    The primary function of the arteries is to carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the blood. On the other hand, the veins carry the blood back to the heart. Veins have valves that stop the blood from flowing backward. Chronic venous insufficiency or peripheral Venous Insufficiency, a venous disease develops when the veins have trouble sending the blood from the limbs back to the heart. Since the blood does not get back to the heart, it causes blood to pool in your legs’ veins.

    While there are various causes of venous insufficiency, the most common cause is varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is usually characterized by pain, cramps, and discomfort in your lower leg. You may also notice the development of spider veins on the lower limbs.

    According to the American Heart Association, about 2.5 million individuals experience venous insufficiency in America. Out of these, about 500,000 people develop non-healing ulcers in the future. Besides discomfort and pain, people suffering from this condition may also notice the dark color on their legs. The skin on the leg also starts to have a leathery texture.

    Causes of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    As mentioned previously, the leading causes of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are varicose veins and blood clots. Healthy veins are responsible for a continuous flow of blood from the limbs to the heart. Varicose veins and blood clots disrupt the normal functioning of the veins. These conditions lead to the obstruction that restricts the blood from flowing forward through the veins. Blood clots block the veins, making it hard for the blood to flow. In the case of varicose veins, the valves that stop the blood from flowing back are often impaired or missing, forcing the blood to leak back.

    In some cases, the leg muscles that help push the blood forward can also weaken, leading to venous insufficiency. According to Cleveland clinic reports, venous insufficiency is more common in women than in men. The report further indicates that the condition is more likely to affect adults over 50 years. Other venous insufficiency disease risk factors include:

    Causes of chronic venous insufficiency - Pedes Orange County
    • Obesity
    • Blood Clots
    • Varicose Veins
    • Pregnancy
    • Cancer
    • Smoking
    • Muscle Weakness
    • Trauma, or Leg Injury
    • Phlebitis (swelling of the superficial vein)
    • Family History of Venous Insufficiency
    • Having to stand or remain seated for an extended period

    Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    The seriousness of chronic venous insufficiency and the treatment complexity increase as the disease progresses. As such, seeking medical intervention on the onset of the symptoms is crucial. Contrary to what most people believe, the problems will not go away on their own. However, when the diseases are treated earlier, you will have a better chance of preventing serious complications. The common symptoms for chronic venous insufficiency include:

    Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency
    • Swelling in your lower legs and ankles, especially when you stand for an extended period
    • Tiredness or aching in the legs
    • Having leathery-looking skin on your legs
    • Itching or flaking skin on your feet or legs
    • Edema, which causes swelling of the ankles or legs
    • Pain that worsens when you stand and eases when you raise your legs
    • Throbbing or a feeling of heaviness in your legs
    • Itchy or weak legs
    • Thickening of the skin around your ankles or legs
    • Leg ulcers and a feeling of tightness in your calves

    When left untreated, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) can result in pressure building in the veins. The increase in pressure causes the swelling to increase, forcing even the smallest blood vessels (capillaries) to burst. When the capillaries burst, the overlying skin changes the color and acquires a reddish-brown color. The skin is also susceptible to being broken if scratched or bumped.

    Burst capillaries lead to various conditions. At the very least, they can cause internal tissue inflammation or damage. In severe cases, they can lead to an open sore on your skin surface. Even worse, venous stasis ulcers take a long time to heal, making them susceptible to infections. When the infections are not treated, they rapidly spread to the surrounding tissues.

    Additionally, chronic venous insufficiency is also associated with twisted or enlarged veins close to the skin. While this condition can occur anywhere throughout the body, it often occurs in the legs.

    Chronic Venous Insufficiency – Diagnosis

    Your doctor will start by doing a comprehensive physical examination. The doctor will also take your medical history to figure out whether you have chronic venous insufficiency. Your physician may also order an imaging test that pinpoints the problem source. Some of the standard imaging tests for diagnosing CVI include duplex ultrasound and a venogram.

    A venogram is a test that enables the doctor to see the veins in the body, especially in the legs. During the procedure, your doctor will inject a special intravenous contrast dye into the veins. The unique contrast dye makes the blood vessels appear opaque on the X-ray image. The image will provide a clear picture of the blood vessels, enabling the doctor to detect abnormalities.

    Duplex ultrasound involves high-frequency sound waves to look at the speed and the direction of blood flow in the veins. This test will also show the blood vessel width and reveal any blockages. The test is less invasive, meaning that you will not experience any pain. During the test, the technician will place some gel on the skin and then press a transducer (a small handheld device) against your leg. The device emits sound waves that bounce back to a computer and shows images of how the blood is flowing through your veins.

    Chronic Venous Insufficiency – Treatments

    Similar to other diseases, venous insufficiency is easy to manage during the earliest stages. Lifestyle changes, vascular medicine, and vascular surgeries are also significant in managing chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). The treatment often depends on various factors, including the underlying cause, health status, and history. Some of the other factors to consider include;

    • The specific symptoms
    • The condition severity
    • Your age
    • Your capability in tolerating the medications and medical procedures

    Treatments for CVI’s main aim are to improve the blood flow in your legs. The treatment includes various strategies, including natural ways to improve blood circulation, special elastic stockings, medications, non-surgical treatments, and microsurgeries.

    Natural Ways to Treat Venous Insufficiency

    It is essential to point out that there is no distinctive way of reversing the causes of chronic venous insufficiency. However, plenty of strategies can help reduce the impact of the reflux caused by the damaged valve. Through a combination of these strategies, the patient eventually becomes symptom-free. The following home remedies help in managing the condition.

    Compression socks are one of the most common treatments for chronic compression stockings. These unique graduated elastic stockings apply pressure at the lower leg and ankle, helping to improve blood flow. The elastic stocking helps in reversing various CVI symptoms, including leg heaviness, fatigue, achiness, and swelling. The compression socks also help in resolving the tenderness of the varicose and spider veins. They come in a wide range of lengths and prescription strength. At Pedes Orange County, Our skilled doctors will help you decide what the best type of compression is stocking for your treatment.

    Regular exercise helps the blood to move. The veins depend on the muscle contraction to help them return the deoxygenated blood from the feet to your heart. A sedentary lifestyle such as standing or sitting for an extended period without moving your blood circulation is missing an essential part of the equation.

    Elevating your legs allows gravity to bring the blood back towards the heart naturally. Doctors recommend raising your feet for at least 20 minutes, especially after a long day at work. Doing this will make your legs feel less achy and swollen. Ideally, ensure that your feet are above the heart level. To maximize the results, you can also purchase special leg elevation pillows.

    Chronic venous insufficiency often causes itchy, dry skin prone to rashes, wounds, and infections. Dermatitis or skin irritation is easily managed by following a good skin care regimen. The following tips may help.

    • Keep the skin hydrated. Go for greasy products such as coconut oils that keep the skin hydrated for an extended period
    • Avoid antimicrobials and perfume products. These products contain harsh chemicals that may worsen your condition
    • Wear a clean pair of compression socks daily
    • Avoid rubbing or scratching your skin during the day

    Besides the natural treatment, modifying our diet will play a significant role in improving the health of our veins and overall well-being. Consuming the following foods will significantly reduce the symptoms associated with CVI.

    • Horse chestnut

    Horse Chestnut is one of the good ingredients that help in the fight against CVI. Clinical trials have found this ingredient helpful in reversing the CVI symptoms, including leg itching and swelling. It also helps in reversing skin discoloration and damage caused by CVI. Horse Chestnut extract is found in specialty vitamin stores as an over-the-counter supplement.

    Drinking plenty of water- staying well hydrated will improve the blood viscosity, allowing it to flow efficiently in the veins.

    • Taking anti-inflammatory diets

    Some foods can lead to increased risks of inflammatory conditions that affect the blood circulation. Some of the foods that you should avoid include processed food, animal products, and fried foods. You should instead eat naturally derived, whole food prepared at home.

    • Taking vital supplements

    Research shows that supplements such as Omega 3 and turmeric can help thin the blood and minimize inflammation, fostering optimal circulation. Before taking these supplements, it is essential to speak to your healthcare provider.

    Medications such as antibiotics also help to clear skin infections related to venous insufficiency. However, it is crucial to treat the underlying condition to prevent infection recurrence. Your doctor may also recommend medications to manage blood clots, especially for people with post-thrombotic syndrome. Doctors also prescribe Unna Boot, which is a unique medicated wrap to treat the wound

    Non-Surgical Treatments for Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    Chronic venous insufficiency nonsurgical treatments include Sclerotherapy, Radiofrequency Ablation, Endovenous Thermal Ablation, venous stripping, and Angioplasty.

    Sclerotherapy is a process that involves the injection of a solution into the varicose or spider veins that cause them to collapse and disappear. The procedure is relatively inexpensive and can be performed in the doctor’s office or home. It helps to relieve pain and discomfort as well as preventing complications such as ulceration and venous bleeding.

    Radiofrequency Ablation is a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure used to treat varicose veins. An RFA utilizes high-frequency radio waves directed through a thin tube to create intense heat within the varicose vein.

    In severe cases, the doctors also use the catheter to relieve pain in the large veins. The doctor usually inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the vein and heats its end. As the doctor removes the catheter, the heat will cause the vein to close and seal.

    Endovenous thermal ablation is a new, advanced procedure that uses high-frequency radio waves or lasers to create intense local heat in the veins affected. The treatment helps in clearing the problem in the veins while ensuring minimal bruising and bleeding.

    Sclerotherapy
    Radio Frequency Ablation

    Surgical Treatments

    So when is surgical treatment necessary? Sometimes the home remedies, medications, and nonsurgical treatments are not enough, especially when the disease is at an advanced stage. However, there is still hope. Surgical treatments help in treating advanced CVI. Some of the common surgical treatments

    Ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure, meaning that you do not have to spend the night in the medical facility. This minimally invasive procedure involves your doctors numbing various spots on your leg, making tiny pricks, and removing small varicose veins.

    Ultrasound and Surgical Treatments for Venous Treatments

    Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Preventable?

    Yes, indeed, just like most of the other diseases, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is preventable. Taking the following measures will help in decreasing the risk of contracting the condition, especially if your family has a history of CVI.

    • Avoid sitting or standing in one position for extended periods. Taking frequent breaks and moving around will help the blood to circulate.
    • Avoid smoking and if you do, quit smoking
    • Maintain a healthy body weight
    • Eat a balanced diet and take the supplements recommended earlier
    • Follow a strict exercise routine. Exercising frequently promotes optimal blood circulation.
    Treatments for Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    Treatments for Chronic Venous Insufficiency

    Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are harmless. Most people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. However, treatment will also alleviate the mild yet persistent discomfort this condition sometimes causes.

    Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatments

    Why Choose Pedes Orange County?

    At Pedes Orange County Clinic, you can expect expert assistance and professional treatment from all staff members. We take pride in delivering the best possible outcome by offering high-standard individualized care. With over a decade of experience in this field, we have completed thousands of procedures to treat chronic venous insufficiency.

    To demonstrate our commitment to offering the best treatment, we have volunteered to participate in various evaluations to ensure our clinic meets and exceeds the national performance in chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) treatments. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and get started on getting a solution that meets your specific needs.

    What to Expect from Your Visit to Pedes

    ULTRASOUND

    ULTRASOUND

    Your treatment will begin with an ultrasound examination of your veins, arteries, or both, in your legs to diagnose the presence and extent of the disease. Your test results will be immediately available to review with the doctor.

    CONSULT

    CONSULT

    Once we review the results of your diagnostic tests, our physicians will help you develop a plan to provide you with the best treatment for your disease.

    TREATMENT

    TREATMENT

    Depending on the extent of disease in your arteries or veins, our specialists may recommend minimally invasive intervention and/or prescribe medications to help your symptoms.

    FOLLOW UP

    FOLLOW UP

    It is important to make sure that you return for every scheduled follow-up appointment to ensure that your disease is appropriately monitored. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please call or schedule a follow-up appointment with our staff.