How Serious Is Venous Disease?

Damaged Valves

Venous disease is a serious health condition requiring screening and treatment from a medical professional. It is primarily diagnosed in women over the age of 45, but men engaged in particular types of professions are frequently diagnosed with CVI or chronic venous insufficiency, as well. This medical condition affects the veins and valves located throughout the legs, leading to a diverse set of symptoms such as chronically swollen ankles and legs, itchy skin tissue and hyperpigmentation. The cause of this condition is having several damaged valves in the blood vessels of the legs, making it difficult for the veins to pump oxygen poor blood back to the heart.

Medical Tests

Most venous disease is chronic, but occasionally it is an emergency occurrence called deep vein thrombosis caused by blood clots along with incompetent valves. The typical cause for chronic venous insufficiency is a lifetime of damage to the veins from being overweight, lack of exercise or high blood pressure. Additional factors that contribute to developing CVI include genetics or smoking cigarettes. A health care practitioner can diagnose CVI by using medical imaging tests, including magnetic resonance venography or transcranial Doppler sonography.

Managing Treatments

There are several types of CVI treatment to reduce discomfort felt in the legs while increasing blood circulation. For serious CVI, a surgeon can place venous stents or balloons in the veins to ensure blood can flow properly. Surgeons are also beginning to use a new technique named subfascial endoscopic perforator vein surgery. In most cases, a physician begins by using less drastic treatments such as high blood pressure medication or elevating the legs several times a day. Managing the symptoms by reducing swelling with massages or compression stockings is commonly advised.