Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

What is chronic venous insufficiency?

Illustration of the anatomy of a vein, showing valves
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Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the leg veins do not allow blood to travel back to the heart. (Arteries carry blood away from the heart, while veins carry blood to the heart). Problems with valves in the veins can cause the blood to flow both directions, not just toward the heart. These valves that are not working properly can cause blood in the legs to pool. If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, pain, swelling, and leg ulcers may result.

Chronic venous insufficiency does not pose a serious health threat, but the condition can be disabling and cause pain.

What causes chronic venous insufficiency?

Chronic venous insufficiency is more common among those who are obese, pregnant, or who have a family history of the problem. Individuals who have had trauma to the leg through injury, surgery, or previous blood clots are also more likely to develop the condition.

Illustration of the circulation system of the legs
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Other causes of chronic venous insufficiency include, but are not limited to, the following:

What are the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency?

Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency may include:

The symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency may resemble other conditions. Consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is chronic venous insufficiency diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for chronic venous insufficiency may include:

What is the treatment for chronic venous insufficiency?

Specific treatment will be determined by your doctor based on:

Chronic venous insufficiency treatment may include:

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