Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when the veins in your legs are unable to pump blood back to your heart effectively.
When this happens, blood accumulates in your veins resulting in symptoms like swelling, pain, and discoloration in your skin.
CVI is a much more common condition than people realize. Up to 30% of people in the United States live with CVI, which is why Dr. Gary Nackman and his team at NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center in Clifton and Oradell, New Jersey, provide highly personalized and professional care for people with CVI.
Learn more about chronic venous insufficiency, its causes, and the available treatment options.
Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
CVI causes a wide range of symptoms depending on your condition's severity. Common symptoms include:
- Developing open sores and ulcers on your legs
- Pain in your legs, worsened by standing or sitting for prolonged periods
- Developing varicose veins
- Experiencing swelling in your legs and feet
- Experiencing leg cramps
- Itching and flaking on the skin of your legs and feet
- Skin discoloration in your legs
Symptoms of CVI typically range in severity. People with this condition can experience mild to severe symptoms.
Causes of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
A range of factors could be responsible for triggering the development of CVI. The most common is age. As you age, your vein's valves weaken, which could cause CVI. Other causes include:
Living a sedentary life
People with jobs that cause them to work sedentary lives are at risk of developing CVI. Not exercising regularly and sitting for prolonged periods can cause blood to pool in your legs, triggering CVI.
Your body goes through significant hormonal changes when you are pregnant. These changes can affect the veins in your legs, causing them to expand and become less efficient at moving blood back up to your heart.
Your growing baby bump also puts pressure on the veins in the pelvis and legs, while increased blood volume can strain the veins causing CVI.
People with a family history of CVI are more likely to develop the condition than those without it. When diagnosing CVI, we thoroughly examine your family history to determine if that's the cause.
How to prevent Chronic Venous Insufficiency
If you are prone to developing CVI, the good news is that it is preventable. Start by making specific lifestyle changes.
Exercising improves blood flow in your legs, strengthens your veins, and reduces your risk of developing CVI, and is especially vital if your lifestyle is sedentary.
It's also critical to avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking. Smoking can damage your veins, increasing your risk of developing CVI.
How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency treated?
At NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center, we use various methods to treat CVI, depending on the severity of your condition.
We commonly recommend the Venefit® and Varithena® procedures. They are minimally invasive and make use of cutting-edge technology to treat CVI.
With the Venefit procedure, also known as radiofrequency ablation, we use heat energy to close off affected veins. Using a small catheter inserted into the vein and radiofrequency energy to heat it causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. Then blood flow redirects to healthier veins in the area.
The Varithena procedure, on the other hand, involves injecting a special foam into an affected vein. The foam substitutes the blood in the vein and irritates the lining, causing it to collapse and seal shut, allowing the blood flow to redirect to healthier veins.
In severe cases, Dr. Nackman may recommend surgery to remove the affected veins.
If you suspect you have CVI, don't ignore the signs. It is crucial to seek professional medical treatment for CVI to prevent complications such as leg ulcers and blood clots.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition that can significantly affect your quality of life. Get proper treatment by booking an appointment with us online or calling 973-791-7359. Don't let CVI keep you from living a well-rounded life.