What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a medical condition characterized by leg pain and swelling due to damage and blood clots in the venous valves of the veins. The valves in the veins help to prevent the backflow of blood. When they are damaged, blood tends to flow backward due to gravity and accumulate in the veins, especially in the legs. This causes excessive fluids to leak out of the veins, resulting in swollen legs. Over time, symptoms, such as itching and discoloration of the skin on the legs may appear. If left treated, the swelling may cause capillaries in the legs to burst, resulting in reddish-brown colored skin. It may also form ulcers that are difficult to heal. Post-thrombotic or post-phlebitic syndrome is a type of CVI that develops as a complication deep vein thrombosis, a condition that is characterized by blood clots in deep veins.
Signs and symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency may include:
- Bleeding gums
- Brown colored skin near the ankles
- Itchy skin
- Scaly skin on the legs and feet
- Swollen ankles
- Swollen legs
Possible causes of Chronic Venous Insufficiency are:
- Damage to the valves in the veins
- Formation of a blood clot within one of the major deep veins of the leg
The risk of Chronic Venous Insufficiency increases when you/your:
- Are a female
- Are a smoker
- Are older than 50 years old
- Are pregnant
- Get older
- Had major surgery on the leg or foot
- Sit for a long period of time
- Stand for a long period of time
There is no known complication for Chronic Venous Insufficiency at this moment.
No specific prevention guideline exists for Chronic Venous Insufficiency at this moment.
Treatments and management of Chronic Venous Insufficiency may vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of the medical condition. Treatment options may include:
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
- Compression Stockings
- Endovenous Laser Treatment
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Unna Boot
- Vein Bypass Surgery