The 411 On Chronic Venous Insufficiency
The heart and network of blood vessels make up the cardiovascular system (also known as circular system). Generally, the blood vessels carry blood to and from the heart for oxygenation and the transport of nutrients. There are three basic types of blood vessels: arteries, veins, and capillaries. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition affecting the veins in the lower extremities.
CVI happens when the valves in the veins do not function optimally. It should be noted that the veins are primarily responsible for transporting deoxygenated blood from the rest of the body towards the heart for oxygenation. Blood flow toward the heart is significantly reduced in cases of valve malfunction. Often, CVI is associated with the occurrence of varicose veins.
Valve damage or malfunction can be caused by the following:
- Weakness in the vein walls resulting from enlarged veins and the inability of the valves to close
- History of blood clot formation or deep vein thrombosis
- Valves damaged since birth
Risk factors of CVI include:
- Being overweight
- Past or current pregnancy
- Prolonged periods of inactivity
- Female gender (due to hormonal shifts)
- Heavy lifting
Symptoms of CVI
Some cases of CVI are symptom-free. Nevertheless, it could also present itself with the following symptoms:
- Chronic swelling of the lower legs
- Cramping, heaviness, and pain in the legs
- Bluish discoloration in the ankle area
- Venous ulcers caused by chronic swelling
Diagnosis of chronic venous insufficiency at the Central Jersey Surgeons
The Central Jersey Surgeons Vascular Lab provides non-invasive testing modalities such as venous ultrasound of the upper and lower extremities that could identify whether or not you have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Call our office today at (908) 722-0030 to schedule an appointment for our non-invasive testing procedures.