Saturday, July 13, 2024

What is Venous Insufficiency and What Are Its Risk Factors?

Blood clots and varicose veins are some of the issues that can emerge if the veins in your blood vessels fail. The condition known as venous insufficiency affects 5% of adults. Timely treatment of chronic venous insufficiency can lead to infections and tissue damage. You can rely on Kristen Forsythe FNP from Vascular Specialists, for sclerotherapy, venous ablation and other non-surgical treatments.

What is venous insufficiency?

CVI (Chronic venous insufficiency) occurs when the valves in the veins cannot stop blood from flowing backward. As a result, blood pools around the valves, causing inflammation and pain.

One of the main factors causing CVI is blood clots. A clot can stop blood circulation back to the heart. The condition is known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

If the DVT persists for a considerable period, it may scar the surrounding tissue. The scarring is referred to as a post-thrombotic symptom.

Post-thrombotic syndrome can worsen symptoms of DVT. According to statistics, up to 50% of people with DVT will eventually develop post-thrombotic syndrome.

Venous insufficiency symptoms

Tired and restless legs are one of the symptoms of venous insufficiency. You may also notice pins and needles sensations in your limbs. Some patients tend to have swollen ankles after standing for a long time.

You may also experience tightness and pain in your lower limbs. If the sensations change when you elevate your legs, it is probably venous insufficiency. Symptoms may develop gradually over time.

Risk factors for venous insufficiency

Research shows smokers have a three-fold risk for venous insufficiency compared to non-smokers. Tobacco narrows the veins and increases blood pressure. It makes circulation back to the heart more challenging.

Smoking also reduces blood oxygen levels and increases quantities of carbon monoxide. The body responds by releasing white blood cells to fight the inflammation. Over time the damage to blood vessels causes varicose veins and venous system complications.

Obesity causes fluids to accumulate in blood vessels, increasing the pressure exerted on the walls. It can cause swelling and damage valves that stop blood from flowing backward.

Another risk factor is muscle weakness caused by inactivity. Muscles support the veins by squeezing blood forward toward the heart. Regular exercise can manage symptoms of venous insufficiency.

Treatment for venous insufficiency

Your venous system specialist will consider your age and family history during diagnosis. The severity of venous insufficiency will also determine the treatment option suitable for your case.

Your provider may choose compression stockings to treat mild cases of venous insufficiency. They support your lower legs, facilitating blood flow from your limbs to the heart.

Another treatment option is sclerotherapy. It involves injecting medication into the affected vein. It closes the vein, forcing blood to flow through healthy blood vessels.

Venous ablation involves applying thermal energy to close the target vein. It uses a laser to direct the heat to the precise location without damaging surrounding tissue. Your provider may also prescribe wearing compression stockings to enhance the outcome of the non-surgical procedure.

Contact Vascular Specialists to book an appointment today. 

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