Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

What is it?

It is a condition that occurs when the venous wall and valves in the veins of the legs do not work effectively, which makes it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs.

This causes the blood to “accumulate” in these veins, and this grouping is called statism.

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the veins in the legs do not perform their function and do not return the blood to the heart. The arteries carry blood away from the heart, while the veins carry blood to the heart.

Problems with the valves in the veins can cause blood to flow in both directions, not only to the heart. These valves that do not work correctly can cause blood to build up in the legs.

If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, pain, swelling, and ulcers of the lower extremities may occur.

Chronic venous insufficiency does not yet pose a serious threat to life. However, the condition causes disability and pain.


What causes chronic venous insufficiency?

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

  • High blood pressure in the veins of the leg for a long time due to sitting or standing for prolonged periods.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Smoke.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the calf or thigh).
  • Phlebitis (swelling and inflammation of a superficial vein, usually in the legs).
  • The veins return blood to the heart from all the body’s organs. To reach the heart, the blood needs to flow upwards from the veins in the legs.
  • The calves and the muscles of the feet must contract with each step to tighten the veins and push the blood upwards. The veins contain unidirectional valves to keep the blood flowing upward, not backward.

Chronic venous insufficiency is more common among obese, pregnant, or has a family history of the problem.

People who have suffered trauma to the leg through injuries, blood clots, or previous ones are more likely to develop the condition.

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when these valves are damaged, allowing blood to flow back.

Valve damage can occur due to aging, staying seated or extended position, or a combination of aging and reduced mobility.

When the veins and valves weaken to the point where it is difficult for blood to flow to the heart, the blood pressure in the veins remains elevated for long periods, leading to venous insufficiency.

It most commonly occurs due to a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

It also results from pelvic tumors and vascular malformations and sometimes occurs for unknown reasons.

Failure of valves in leg veins to maintain blood against gravity leads to a slow movement of blood out of the veins, resulting in swollen legs.

Chronic venous insufficiency that develops due to DVT is also known as post-thrombotic syndrome. Up to 30 percent of people with DVT will develop this problem within ten years.

What symptoms does a person have?

Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency may include:

  • Inflammation in the legs and ankles.
  • Narrow legs or itching sensation in the lower extremities.
  • Ailment during the march that stops with rest.
  • Brown skin, particularly near the feet.
  • Veins with varicose veins
  • Ulcers are sometimes very resistant to treatment.

Some of the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency resemble other disorders.

Which is the diagnosis?

After a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for chronic venous insufficiency include:

  • Ultrasound. Avascular ultrasound is performed to assess blood flow and the structure of the circulatory system in the lower extremities. The word “duplex” refers to two ultrasound modes used: Doppler and B mode.
  • The B-mode transducer has an image of the vessels that are being studied. The Doppler probe assesses the direction and velocity of blood flow in vessels.
  • A venogram is a study in which X-rays and intravenous contrast dye are used to observe the veins. The contrast dye allows the ship to be opaque in X-rays; this allows the doctor to visualize the dishes that are being evaluated.

What are the risk factors for chronic venous insufficiency?

You are more likely to develop the disease if you have risk factors. The most important risk factors are:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Varicose veins or family history of varicose veins
  • Obesity.
  • The pregnancy.
  • Inactivity.
  • Smoke.
  • Extended periods of standing or sitting.
  • Female sex
  • Age over 50 years.

Who are the most affected?

It is estimated that 40 percent of people in the United States are affected by this condition. It occurs more frequently in people older than 50 years and more often in women than in men.

Which is the treatment?

Everything depends on:

  • Your general health, your medical history, and your age.
  • Scope of the condition.
  • Tolerance to specific procedures, medications, or therapies.
  • Your symptoms.
  • Expectations for the course of the state.
  • Your opinion or preference

The treatment includes:

The processes to increase blood flow in the veins include raising the legs to reduce pressure and compression stockings to apply pressure on the legs and help blood flow. Measures to improve blood flow in the veins of the legs.

Other methods include keeping the legs uncrossed when sitting and exercising regularly.