Experiencing Leg Swelling and Varicose Veins? You May Have Chronic Venous Insufficiency.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a long-term condition in which the valves in your veins don’t function properly, making it incredibly difficult for the blood to return to your heart from your legs. This malfunction then causes blood to “pool” or collect in your veins in what’s known as stasis. Despite approximately 150,000 new patients being diagnosed with chronic venous insufficiency each year, healthcare providers largely overlook this condition due to underestimating the magnitude of the problem. In reality, CVI is a serious healthcare issue that, when left untreated, can lead to post-phlebitic syndrome, skin discoloration, venous ulcers, and more.
That’s why, if you experience any of the symptoms outlined in this article and are interested in receiving treatment, you should consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, the best heart specialist in Tampa, as soon as possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
While most symbols are mild and not limb-threatening, CVI is a progressive condition, meaning that these symptoms are likely to continue to worsen over time rather than go away. For the best chance of preventing serious complications, you’ll want to have your CVI diagnosed and treated by one of the Tampa cardiac specialists as early as possible. Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency may include the following:
Swelling in your legs or ankles, especially after long periods of standing
Restless legs syndrome
Brown-colored skin, often near your ankles
Painful leg cramps or muscle spasms
Venous ulcers (or venous stasis ulcers)
Tight feeling in your calves
What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the valves within your leg veins become damaged as a result of aging, extended sitting/standing, or a combination of the two, and the blood is allowed to leak backward. As a result, the blood pressure in your veins stays elevated for extended periods of time, and you experience symptoms like swelling and painful leg cramps. While CVI is most commonly caused by a blood clot in the deep veins of your legs, it can also occur as a result of pelvic tumors, vascular malformations, and phlebitis.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
The first step in treating your chronic venous insufficiency is to visit a board-certified heart specialist in Tampa like Dr. Popat who will perform a physical examination and possibly order imaging tests to pinpoint the source of the problem. One of the most common tests used during this examination is a vascular or duplex ultrasound to examine the blood circulation in your legs via a transducer that emits sound waves to bounce off your veins.
After diagnostics have been completed, one of the Tampa cardiac specialists will create a treatment plan for you based on your medical history, symptoms, age, and the severity of your CVI. Treatment options may include radiofrequency ablation, medication, surgery, ambulatory phlebotomy, and sclerotherapy. To find a treatment plan which works best for you or to take steps today to lessen your chances of developing chronic venous insufficiency, consult with a heart specialist.
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