Your veins are designed to return blood from the body's organs back to the heart. Since the blood needs to flow upward from the legs to the heart, the leg veins have one-way valves to prevent the blood from flowing back down. When these valves are damaged or not working properly, it causes blood to pool or collect in the legs. This condition is known as chronic venous insufficiency, a common and often chronic condition that affects nearly 40% of the United States population. At Corrielus Cardiology, we proudly provide effective, non-invasive treatments for your chronic venous insufficiency at our state-of-the-art heart and wellness center in Philadelphia. By managing this condition correctly, you can lead a comfortable and active life.
Symptoms & Causes of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency is caused by damaged or poorly functioning valves in the leg veins, which allows blood to leak backward instead of returning to the heart. Valve damage may develop due to a variety of reasons, including reduced mobility, aging and hereditary valve dysfunction. However, chronic venous insufficiency is commonly the result of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) that damages or destroys the valve. At Corrielus Cardiology, we value the importance of educating patients on the additional risk factors of CVI, which include multiple pregnancies, family history of varicose veins, obesity and smoking. In general, women over the age of 50 are more likely to encounter CVI.
If you have venous insufficiency, you may suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
- swelling of the legs or ankles (edema)
- pain that gets worse when standing and better when legs are raised
- cramping, aching and throbbing, in legs
- itchy legs
- weak legs
- changes in skin thickness and color on legs or ankles
- leg ulcers
- varicose veins
- a feeling of tightness in the calves
Treatment of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Treatment will depend on the specific cause of your venous insufficiency as well as your health history. The goal of CVI treatment is to improve blood flow to the legs. This is often accomplished by wearing compression stockings, getting regular exercise and keeping the legs elevated when possible. Medications such as diuretics and anticoagulants may also be prescribed. Treating CVI can subsequently manage the persistent high blood pressure that often occurs with the condition.
For an accurate diagnosis and long-lasting treatment for chronic venous insufficiency in Philadelphia, please contact Corrielus Cardiology today. We welcome the opportunity to restore your heart health and improve your quality of life.