What is venous insufficiency?
Your arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Your veins carry blood back to the heart, and valves in the veins stop the blood from flowing backward. When your veins have trouble sending blood from your limbs back to the heart, it’s known as venous insufficiency. In this condition, blood doesn’t flow back properly to the heart, causing blood to pool in the veins in your legs.
What causes venous insufficiency?
- Varicose vein
- Blood Clots
- Muscle weakness, leg injury, or trauma
- swelling of a superficial vein (phlebitis)
- family history of venous insufficiency
- sitting or standing for long periods of time without moving.
Symptoms of venous insufficiency include:
- swelling of the legs or ankles (Edema)
- pain that gets worse when you stand and gets better when you raise your legs.
- Leg Cramps
- aching, throbbing, or a feeling of heaviness in your legs
- itchy legs
- weak legs
- thickening of the skin on your legs or ankles
- skin that is changing color, especially around the ankles.
- Leg Ulcers
- varicose veins
- a feeling of tightness in your calves
How is venous insufficiency diagnosed:
By Ultrasound. A technician will place some gel on the skin and then press a small hand-held device (transducer) against this area. The transducer uses sound waves that bounce back to a computer and produce the images of blood flow.
Improving Blood Flow :
1. Compression Stocking.
2. Avoid sitting or standing for a long period of time.
3. Don't keep you legs crossed when you sit.
4. Keep your legs elevated as much as possible.
5. Keep hydrated.
7. Stop Smoking
In some cases these conservative management does not work and then we have to minimally invasive therapy to help the symptoms.
In these cases one option is localized injection of material into the abnormal veins to close off the veins, which can be performed particularly if they are small veins. This is called sclerotherapy. Larger veins often require our specialized techniques of catheter thermal ablation or localized phlebotomy. All of these procedures can be performed in our office.
Catheter thermal ablation requires only local anesthesia. We place an IV in the abnormal leg vein with the help of ultrasound pictures. A small wire is painlessly inserted through the IV. This wire is then heated and closes off the abnormal vein. This directs blood flow into the other healthy deep veins. This entire procedure takes less than one hour.
We provide ultrasound to diagnose the venous insufficiency, advice conservative management and and ablation procedure in our office if needed.