What is chronic venous disease?
• Venous insufficiency is a very common condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart, with pooling of blood in the veins.
• When the valves become weak and don’t close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux. Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness become elongated, rope-like, bulged, and thickened and are known as varicose veins — a result of increased pressure from reflux.
• Symptoms include: Swelling, skin changes, leg tiredness, heaviness, aching, cramps, itching, restless leg syndrome.
Chronic venous disease of the legs is one of the most common conditions affecting people of all races.
• – 20 to 25% of the women and 10 to 15% of men have visible varicose veins.
• Varicose veins affect 1 out of 2 people age 50 and older, and 15 to 25% of all adults.
• Gender, genetics, age and obesity are primary risk factors. Secondary risk factors include workplace conditions
How is Chronic Venous Disease diagnosed?
• A physician takes a health history, assesses symptoms and perform a physical exam.
• A physician may order a duplex ultrasound test or sometimes another test called a venogram to confirm diagnosis.
o Duplex ultrasound allows a physician
o to measure the speed of blood flow and to see the structure of leg veins.
o A venogram is an x-ray that also allows a doctor to see the anatomy of your veins. The physician injects a dye, called contrast, which makes the blood in your veins appear on an x-ray.
What is the treatment?
CVI is usually not considered a serious health risk. A physician will focus treatment on decreasing pain and disability.
• Compression stockings- Used to treat mild cases of CVI
• Sclerotherapy – A physician injects a chemical into affected veins. The chemical scars veins from the inside out so your abnormal veins can then no longer fill with blood.
• Endovenous Laser Therapy – A laser catheter is placed into the abnormal vein feeding the varicose veins. Laser energy/heat then closes the vein from the inside so the vein doesn’t have to be removed (stripped). This is done in our office, with minimal pain and downtime
Fewer than 10 percent of people with CVI require surgery to correct the problem. Surgical treatments include ablation, vein stripping, and angioplasty or stenting of a vein.
A vascular surgeon will help you decide the best treatment option for your particular situation.
For more information, go to yakimavascular.com or call 453-4614