Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a medical condition that occurs when the veins in the legs are unable to efficiently return blood back to the heart. This can lead to a range of symptoms. Some people experience mild symptoms, while others have more pronounced, severe symptoms.
Below, we go into detail about the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. If you observe any of them, consult a vein doctor for the treatment and management of your vein condition.
One of the primary symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency is the development of varicose veins. These are enlarged, twisted veins that can be seen just beneath the surface of the skin. They appear blue or purple in color and may bulge out. Varicose veins can cause discomfort and a heavy sensation in the legs.
Chronic venous insufficiency can also cause leg cramping. When the valves in the veins become weakened or damaged, blood pools in the legs, leading to a buildup of pressure in the veins. Increased pressure in the leg veins causes the muscles surrounding the veins to contract and spasm, resulting in a cramping sensation.
Another symptom of chronic venous insufficiency is leg swelling in the ankles and lower part of the legs. The medical name for swelling due to fluid buildup in the tissues is called edema, and it can occur because of the impaired exchange of fluids between the blood vessels and the surrounding tissues. Edema can make the legs feel tight and uncomfortable, and may worsen throughout the day, especially after prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
Throbbing or Burning Sensation
Individuals with chronic venous insufficiency may also experience a sensation of throbbing or burning in their legs caused by the increased pressure in the leg veins and irritation to the surrounding tissues.
Chronic venous insufficiency can contribute to restless legs syndrome (RLS) due to the impaired blood circulation and associated symptoms. Restless legs syndrome is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. Inadequate oxygen supply and accumulation of metabolic waste products can trigger abnormal nerve impulses and sensations in the legs, contributing to restless legs syndrome.
In advanced stages of chronic venous insufficiency, skin changes may occur. The skin around the affected area may become dry, itchy, and prone to dermatitis. Over time, the skin may become thickened and discolored, taking on a reddish-brown hue. If left untreated, these skin changes can progress to the formation of leg ulcers, which are open sores that are difficult to heal.
What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency is usually caused by underlying issues, such as high blood pressure or a lack of exercise. A blood clot deep in the vein can also lead to chronic venous insufficiency. You are more likely to have this problem if you are overweight, pregnant, or have a genetic predisposition to it.
All in all, a vein doctor can assess the extent of venous insufficiency and help with improving blood flow in your legs. A combination of lifestyle changes, wearing compression stockings, and vein treatments can restore the veins in your legs.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatment in Boca Raton, FL
If you suspect chronic venous insufficiency or are not satisfied with your current treatment plan, consult the vein specialists at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute in Boca Raton, Florida. Our board-certified interventional cardiologists treat patients with chronic vein insufficiency symptoms in our vein clinic and provide comprehensive services to maintain vein health.
To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (561) 235-5621 or use our online request form. Our friendly staff looks forward to assisting you with all your vein needs.