Your vein health is an important aspect of feeling your best and maintaining comfort during physical activity. Here at the Vascular Institute of Virginia, our comprehensive menu of services is geared toward addressing the various venous issues that can develop.
Whether you are interested in getting rid of cosmetic spider veins and visible capillaries or you have more significant concerns like varicose veins or peripheral artery disease, we can help. Contact us today at 703-763-5224. There, we can guide you to one of our three convenient office locations, where you can receive care that is tailored to your comfort and health.
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
You may have heard of conditions like spider veins and varicose veins. Well, behind them is a state of inactivity in the venous system. This is referred to as venous insufficiency. To have chronic venous insufficiency means that the blood that travels down to your feet and legs is not making its way back up to the heart as well as it should. Stagnation occurs in veins when the valves that prevent blood from moving backward don’t fully close. As a result, a part of the vein becomes swollen.
What are the Signs that I have Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Indications that you may have some faulty valves in one or more of the veins in your legs include:
- Visible varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Swelling in your legs or ankles
- A sensation of itching, pain, or tightness in your calves
- Pain in a part of your leg when you walk (that ceases when you rest)
- Discoloration in a part of your leg
- Restless legs syndrome
- Leg cramps or muscle spasms
What Factors Put Me at Risk of Developing Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Several factors can contribute to your risk of chronic venous insufficiency. These include:
- Excess weight
- Family history of vein problems
- Injury to the leg
- Sedentary lifestyle
How Does My Doctor Diagnose Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
If you suspect the development of a vein problem, schedule a consultation with a vein or vascular specialist. This doctor will review your symptoms and your medical history and examine your legs closely. To observe the movement of blood through the legs, the doctor may order or perform a Duplex ultrasound. This shows the direction and speed of blood flow through the legs and may be able to spot the area where a valve is not working properly.
Must I Get Treatment for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency may eventually require clinical treatment. When you have a backflow of blood in the veins of your legs, the pressure in these vessels may increase so much that tiny capillaries burst near the surface of your skin. This can be identified by discoloration and inflammation. Untreated chronic venous insufficiency also increases the risk of venous stasis ulcers, slow-healing sores that develop on the skin.
How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treated?
A vein specialist can discuss multiple treatment options with you. Your ideal treatment may be based on your age, medical history, overall health, and the seriousness of your vein condition. Your doctor may explore several potential treatments, each of which is intended to improve blood flow through the veins in your lower extremities (the area most commonly affected by venous insufficiency). One example is to prescribe anticoagulant medication to be taken daily. Some of the treatments for the condition caused by chronic venous insufficiency include:
- Sclerotherapy. This injectable treatment focuses on closing a distended vein or veins using a special medication. This procedure is performed in the office and may take under an hour.
- Endovenous laser ablation. This minimally-invasive vein treatment closes affected veins by heating them. The controlled heat creates inflammation that causes the vein to collapse, similar to sclerotherapy.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy. This office procedure is performed through tiny incisions made at various points along the leg near the affected vein. For comfort, the doctor first administers a local anesthetic. Small sections of the vein are removed using a special instrument. The incisions are so small that there is usually no need for stitches, only small bandages to prevent leakage and infection.
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Schedule Your Consultation Today!
Interested in learning more about vein treatment at the Vascular Institute of Virginia? Call 703-763-5224 to schedule your consultation today! Our practice serves Fredericksburg, Woodbridge, Fairfax & all nearby areas in Virginia.