What is chronic venous insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency is the root cause of most vein problems, including spider veins and varicose veins. Venous insufficiency is a circulatory disorder caused by the collapse of vein valves. Healthy veins have valves that act as one-way doors, ensuring smooth blood circulation to the heart, often against the force of gravity. When the vein valves collapse, gravity forces blood to flow backward and accumulate in the leg veins, eventually leading to vascular dilation and the formation of spider veins and varicose veins.
If you are diagnosed with venous insufficiency, you need to know that it’s a chronic condition that worsens with time. That’s why you must seek vein treatment at the earliest stage possible. Our vein centers in Long Island provide highly personalized, minimally invasive treatments that address the root cause of your vein problems and improve your cosmetic appearance. Please schedule an appointment to explore your treatment options for vein disease in Long Island.
What are the signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions because its early signs and symptoms are extremely mild. The easiest warning signs of chronic venous insufficiency include leg heaviness, leg pain, frequent leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, and leg swelling. The symptoms usually worsen at the end of the day or after long periods of sitting or standing still. Most people misattribute these symptoms to aging or exhaustion. But if you notice these signs and symptoms, please contact a vein doctor in Long Island.
The most visible signs of chronic venous insufficiency are spider veins and varicose veins. Spider veins are dense clusters of damaged blood vessels that appear on the skin’s surface, usually looking like dense spider webs that spread outwards from a central location. Varicose veins are dense blood vessels that bulge outwards because of accumulated blood. They look like a mass of twisted, tangled, and knotted ropes or branches.
If left untreated, the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency continued worsening. The continued accumulation of blood in leg veins may lead to extremely dilated varicose veins with weak walls, increasing the risk of burst varicose veins and profuse bleeding. Other long-term complications of untreated vein disease include skin discoloration (because of insufficient blood flow in the legs), leg ulcers (non-healing wounds because of insufficient blood circulation), and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in leg veins).
Deep vein thrombosis is one of the most dangerous complications of untreated chronic venous insufficiency. The blood clots can eventually break away and travel to the lungs, inducing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. This only happens in the rarest situations, but it can’t be ruled out entirely.
Who has a high risk of venous insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency is an extremely common condition that often goes undiagnosed. There are no clear means of preventing chronic venous insufficiency. But a deeper understanding of the risk factors for vein disease can help you make some lifestyle changes to minimize the risk of vein disease. These are some of the primary risk factors for chronic venous insufficiency:
- Genes: you have a high risk of vein disease if your parents have vein disease
- Biological sex: women have a higher risk of vein disease than men
- Age: the risk of vein disease increases as you grow older
- Hormone therapy: estrogen and progesterone hormones increase the risk of vein disease
- Pregnancy: you have a higher risk of vein disease and spider veins during pregnancy
- Medical history: you have a higher risk of vein disease if you have a history of vein problems
- Occupation: vein disease is extremely common amongst individuals with jobs that involve long periods of sitting or standing still
How to minimize the risk of venous insufficiency?
In order to minimize the risk of chronic venous insufficiency, you need to focus on improving your blood circulation and strengthening your vein valves. The following lifestyle changes can minimize the risk of vein disease:
- Don’t sit or stand still for long periods of time
- While working, take short breaks to walk around
- Elevate your legs above your heart’s level while sitting
- Wear compression stockings regularly
- Engage in cardiovascular exercises, like yoga, swimming, and running
- If you’re obese, focus on weight loss programs
What is the best treatment for venous insufficiency?
If you have the signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, you must visit reliable vein doctors in Long Island. The vein doctor will examine your leg veins, review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and administer duplex ultrasound tests to visualize the blood flow in your leg veins and diagnose chronic venous insufficiency. After diagnosing vein disease, the vein doctor will curate a personalized minimally invasive vein treatment plan.
The following are some of the best treatments for venous insufficiency:
- Radiofrequency Ablation: The vein doctor makes a small incision on the skin’s surface to insert a specialized catheter and deliver radiofrequency waves to collapse the diseased vein, rerouting the accumulated blood into healthier leg veins.
- Laser Ablation: The vein doctor makes a small incision on the skin’s surface to insert a laser fiber and deliver laser energy to destroy the diseased vein, restoring optimal blood circulation to the heart.
- VenaSeal: The vein physician injects a medical-grade adhesive into the diseased saphenous vein to seal its walls shut, turning it into a hardened scar tissue eventually metabolized by the body. The accumulated blood reroutes into healthier leg veins.
What kind of doctor treats chronic venous insufficiency?
Phlebologists, also known as vein doctors, are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of all vascular conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency, spider veins, and varicose veins. Our vein centers in Long Island are led by some of the country’s leading board-certified and fellowship-trained vein doctors specializing in minimally invasive spider vein and varicose vein treatments. If you have the signs and symptoms of vein disease, please schedule an appointment to explore your vein treatment options.