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How can I prevent varicose veins from becoming chronic venous insufficiency?

I have varicose veins, and they don't really bother me as they are. However, I don't want to end up with chronic venous insufficiency. How can I prevent my varicose veins from progressing to chronic vein insufficiency. How will I know if I have chronic vein insufficiency?


Doctors Answers (7)

Venous insufficiency usually starts with ankle swelling or skin discoloration and inflammation at the ankle. Wearing compression stockings regularly that are proper the strength and fitment can slow down the progression of this condition, and treatment for the varicosities can usually reverse it if confined to the superficial venous system. Deep vein insufficiency is more complicated and may require surgery. In any event, consultation with a vein specialist at an early stage makes sense.

You will need to get your varicose veins treated in order to prevent them from causing your symptoms to worsen. The first step is obtaining an ultrasound in our office to determine the extent of your disease. We will go over the treatment steps that you will need. And we will work with your insurance company to obtain approval. If you decide not to treat your varicose veins, they can lead to worsening pain and ulcers.

An ultrasound evaluation of the venous system on your legs will help determine the amount of venous reflux you currently have, which is a measure of how well each of the veins are working in returning blood to the heart. This will help you and the physician determine which veins should be treated and what can just be observed and rechecked in a year. Compression hose worn during the day may also be of some benefit. Treatment is now all minimally invasive office procedures where you return to normal activities immediately after the treatment.

If you have varicose veins, you likely already have chronic venous insufficiency.. So far you are lucky not to have symptoms. A complete evaluation and long term planning with your phlebologist can help with management of your problem.

Varicose veins are a consequence of venous insufficiency. Unfortunately, this is usually hereditary and cannot be prevented. To determine the extent of your venous insufficiency, you can have an ultrasound of the legs performed by a vein specialist/vascular surgeon. Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves inside the veins are leaky and blood flows backwards in the wrong direction. Because of the increased venous pressure, varicose veins often form. What you can do to help is wear compression stockings, stay active with walking, and elevate the legs when you are sitting for long periods.

Very often, varicose veins are actually caused by chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This condition doesn't always produce symptoms. Varicose veins are a type of "pressure relief valve," typically indicating back flow of blood in deeper veins. That said, varicose veins can be present without CVI. We would recommend being thoroughly evaluated by an experienced vascular trained surgeon who specializes in treating these types of veins, and include an ultrasound evaluation. This is the only way to diagnose this condition. You cannot prevent these veins, as they are usually inherited, but you can slow down the process by wearing medical grade, measured/fitted compression hose. These are much nicer now, and can be very comfortable. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, stopping smoking, increasing exercise and elevating the legs intermittently help keep the blood flowing in the veins.

Varicose veins are a sign of chronic venous insufficiency. You already have it! Mitigation of symptoms includes minimal standing, maximal walking, compression hosiery, and weight control. Genetic and hormonal influences are largely out of your control. The rate of progression of chronic vein insufficiency is variable, but usually occurs slowly, over a period of years.

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