Venous insufficiency is when the veins in the lower extremities become incompetent. Normally, the blood is supposed to flow from your feet towards your heart, and the veins are supposed to provide the network for that blood to be returned to the heart. As we age, those veins become less able to return that blood against gravity.
When you’re standing, and even sitting in the upright position, the valves in the veins can become incompetent, and the blood can flow backward, back into your legs, down towards your feet, where it pools. When this happens, blood can pool in the veins and put pressure on the walls of the veins, which is known as venous insufficiency or venous disease. This can cause issues with swelling, wounds, varicose veins, discomfort, and pain.
In this article, Dr. Chris Donikyan explains the symptoms, causes, and treatment of venous insufficiency.
What are Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency?
People who come in with venous insufficiency will most typically present the following symptoms:
- Swelling in their legs
- Large varicose veins or spider veins
- Tight feeling in their legs
- Itchy feeling in their legs
- Leg pain when they are standing
- Skin discoloration down near the ankles
- Skin dries out and becomes less smooth and soft to touch
- Hairs on ankles and lower legs start to fall off
- Develop sores that are difficult to heal
- Painful leg cramps at night that are similar to the feeling of a charley horse
What Causes Venous Insufficiency?
When patients present with some of the symptoms of venous insufficiency, we look for the following factors that may cause the condition:
- Smoking history
- History of blood clots
- Family history
- Sedentary lifestyle
Other causes may include pregnancy. Women may develop venous insufficiency postpartum or in the last four to six months of pregnancy. Additionally, anyone standing for prolonged periods at their job, for example, 8-10 hours a day, is at risk of developing venous insufficiency.
Why Choose American Endovascular to Treat Venous Insufficiency?
One of the most important considerations when you seek out a physician to treat venous insufficiency, is to find a specialist that can perform ultrasounds and interpret the findings themselves. The experts at American Endovascular are all board-certified interventional radiologists, highly trained in not only interpreting ultrasounds, but also performing them ourselves. All of our specialists use the most cutting-edge technology, including laser therapy, phlebectomy, or other ablative techniques to help treat venous insufficiency.
Request a Consultation with Dr. Donikyan
If you think you may have symptoms of venous insufficiency, request a consultation with Dr. Chris Donikyan at Fishkill Endovascular today. You can also schedule a consultation at one of our other vascular centers in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio.