Dr. Amin Talks About CVI and Varicose Veins
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when the venous walls and/or the valves in your leg are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to your heart from your legs. An estimated 40% of Americans suffer from CVI[i], and about one-in-four Americans have varicose veins.[ii]
To reach your heart, blood needs to flow upward from the veins in the leg. To keep that blood from flowing down, veins contain one-way valves. When these valves become damages, blood can leak back down. When it is difficult for the blood to flow up to the heart, blood pressure in the veins stays elevated for long periods of time, causing CVI.
CVI may be caused by a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg, by a pelvic tumor, by a vascular malformation, and other not-yet-identified reasons.[iii] People with CVI often have a combination of symptoms. One of the clearest symptoms of CVI are swollen legs and ankles, especially after extended periods of standing. Other symptoms include aching in the legs, leathery-looking skin on the legs, slaking or itching leg skin, and stasis ulcers. CVI is often associated with varicose veins, which are twisted, enlarged veins close to the surface of the skin.
Fortunately, treatment for varicose veins does not typically involve a hospital stay or a long, uncomfortable recovery. Thanks to less invasive procedures, varicose veins can generally be treated on an outpatient basis.[iv] Sometimes, no treatment is required for varicose veins; despite some people finding them unsightly, veins may not need treatment for health reasons. In severe cases, a varicose vein may rupture or develop into varicose ulcers on the skin, both of which require treatment.
If you have swollen legs and/or any of the other aforementioned symptoms, make an appointment now with Dr. Amin at Corona Foot and Ankle. Dr. Amin will perform ultrasound testing to check your blood flow. This is a noninvasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves to see how blood is flowing through your veins.
People who are overweight have an increased risk of varicose veins.[v] CVI is also more commonly found in women than men.[vi] CVI can be very serious, and the complexities of treatment increase as the disease progresses. This is why it’s critical to visit a doctor if you have any CVI symptoms. If swelling, aching, and painful legs result from CVI, visit Dr. Amin to find out what treatment relief is available for you.
If CVI is not treated, the pressure and swelling in your legs can increase until your capillaries burst. A sign that this has happened is when the overlying skin takes on a reddish-brown color and is very sensitive to being broken if bumped or scratched.
Burst capillaries can cause local tissue inflammation and internal tissue damage. In severe cases, this leads to ulcers, open sores on the skin surface. These venous stasis ulcers can be difficult to heal and can become infected. When the infection is not controlled, it can spread to surrounding tissue, a condition known as cellulitis.[vii]
When it comes to
CVI and varicose veins, there is a large range in the condition’s severity and
how it manifests in your body. This is why it’s critical to make an appointment
with a trained expert like Dr. Amin at Corona Foot and Ankle. Dr. Amin is
trained to diagnose and treat CVI and varicose veins. Don’t wait until symptoms
worsen; make an appointment now.