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Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Commonwealth Vein Center

Vascular, Vein and Wound Specialists & Cardiologists located in Colonial Heights, VA & Richmond, VA, & McLean, VA

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a circulation problem that affects your veins, making it harder for oxygen-poor blood to get back to your heart and lungs. The team of vein and vascular experts at Commonwealth Vein Center in Colonial Heights, Richmond, and McLean, Virginia, specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic venous insufficiency. Call the office nearest you or schedule a consultation online today.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Q & A

What is chronic venous insufficiency?

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when your veins are no longer able to efficiently return blood back to your heart and lungs.

Your veins have tiny valves that open and close to help move blood back to your heart and lungs for reoxygenation. If you have valves that fail to close, the blood in your veins flows backward and pools. Due to gravity, the pooling most often affects the veins in the legs.

The damage to your valves may be the result of aging or if you spend long periods of time sitting or standing, which places extra pressure on these valves. You may be more likely to develop CVI if it runs in your family or you’re overweight. Pregnancy is also a risk factor for CVI.

The poor circulation in your legs may cause pain and lead to health problems or disability.

What are the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency?

Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency usually involve the legs. You may experience leg swelling and leg pain. The swelling may be worse after spending all day on your feet. You may also feel tightness in your calves, and your legs may tire easily.

Over time, the pooling blood may seep out from the veins, causing leg discoloration. You may also develop leg ulcers or restless legs syndrome.

Varicose veins are also a symptom of CVI. 

How is chronic venous insufficiency diagnosed?

Commonwealth Vein Center uses advanced technology to diagnose chronic venous insufficiency. When you come in with concerns about leg pain or swelling, they use these diagnostic tools to find the root cause of your symptoms to get you the most effective care.

During your examination, your vascular, vein, and wound specialist asks detailed questions about your symptoms and medical history. They perform a physical exam, paying close attention to your legs.

To diagnose CVI, the team at Commonwealth Vein Center performs deep vein intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which combines ultrasound imaging with cardiac catheterization. 

How is chronic venous insufficiency treated?

The Commonwealth Vein Center team customizes your chronic venous insufficiency treatment plan based on the severity of your vein damage and symptoms. During the early stages of CVI, the team may recommend conservative treatments to improve circulation, such as:

  • Limiting time spent on your feet
  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Taking medication to manage hypertension

If you have severely damaged veins, the team may perform various procedures to destroy or remove the veins, such as sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, or vein ligation.

The team also provides wound care to help heal leg ulcers.

For help managing chronic venous insufficiency, call Commonwealth Vein Center or schedule an appointment online today.