What Is Chronic Venous Disease?

Chronic venous disease is a medical condition that afflicts millions of people all over the globe. Specifically, it is a disorder that concerns the veins of the legs.

The veins of the legs play an important role in the human body. They move blood up and into the heart. Normal veins work through the use of an elaborate set of valves that open and close to help direct the blood flow. This moves blood from deep in the legs back up into the heart. It also helps control the pressure of other much smaller veins located throughout the legs.

Chronic venous disease occurs when the valves of these veins fail to operate properly. If this occurs, the blood will not travel upwards towards the heart. Instead, it will move backwards where it will begin to pool down in the legs. This pooled blood will create a strong pressure on these veins.

The pressure from this pooled blood in leg veins can result in a number of different symptoms. This includes a feeling of heaviness and aching in the legs. It can produce the appearance of visible and often unsightly veins down the legs known commonly as varicose veins. In more severe cases, it can even produce swelling, discoloration, rashes and ulcers. The condition associated with these symptoms is referred to as chronic venous insufficiency.

There are many things that can result in a patient developing chronic venous disease. For example, a blood clot in a vein could cause pressure to build up until it produces the symptoms of the disease. An injury to the leg could also cause the valves in the legs to work improperly. The disease may even be caused by things as simple as excessive weight gain or standing or sitting for extended periods during the day.

Fortunately, diagnosing the condition is not difficult. This diagnosis typically requires a physical examination of the legs as well as the doctor asking questions to uncover if the patient is experiencing symptoms associated with the disease. Tools such as an ultrasound may also be used to detect the condition as well as its severity. The ultrasound can help the doctor observe how the valves of leg veins are functioning. It can also determine whether the condition mainly exists in superficial veins closer to the surface of the skin or if it also extends to deeper veins that may pose more serious problems.

Once the condition has been diagnosed, the patient can begin treatment. At the Center for Venous Disease, this often includes the use of a radio-frequency vein ablation catheter. This catheter implements a heat element that can be placed inside diseased veins to shrink the lining of those veins and eventually cause them to disappear altogether.