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Venous insufficiency is a problem with the flow of blood from the veins of the legs back to the heart. It’s also called chronic venous insufficiency or chronic venous stasis.
Veins have valves that keep the blood moving in one direction—toward the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves in the veins of the leg don’t work right. So blood pools in the legs. This can lead to problems that include varicose veins.
Venous insufficiency is sometimes caused by deep vein thrombosis and high blood pressure inside leg veins.
You are more likely to have venous insufficiency if you:
Symptoms affect the legs and may include:
Your doctor can diagnose venous insufficiency by examining your legs and by using a type of ultrasound test (duplex Doppler) to find out how well blood is flowing in your legs.
You can wear compression stockings, which are tighter at the ankles than at the top of the legs, to reduce swelling and to relieve pain. They also can help venous skin ulcers heal. You can buy the stockings with or without a prescription.
You also can try to:
VascularWeb is a Web site provided by the Society for Vascular
Surgery. This Web site provides information about vascular conditions for
patients and families. VascularWeb can help you learn about how to prevent and
treat vascular diseases, learn about vascular screening, and find a vascular
Other Works ConsultedRaju S, Neglen P (2009). Chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(22): 2319–2327.
August 31, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Margaret Doucette, DO - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine
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