Venous insufficiency is a medical condition in which the blood inside the veins is not flowing back to the heart as it should. It most commonly occurs in the legs when the blood begins to pool. This happens when the one-way valves that are there to prevent the blood from flowing backwards fail to function as normal. As a result, gravity will cause the blood to flow in the opposite direction that the natural pumping action of the heart is sending it. Consequently, you have two opposing forces at work inside the veins. This causes the blood to exert excessive pressure against the vessel walls, causing them to become enlarged, developing into varicose veins.
Deep vein thrombosis is another cause for venous insufficiency. The condition happens due to a blood clot that forms inside the veins that are located deeper within the legs. These clots are much more dangerous than those occurring in vessels closer to the skin. They are much more likely to travel to the heart and lungs, which can cause serious health problems or even death.
Venous insufficiency can cause symptoms like itching and cramping. It can also cause a feeling of heaviness in the legs, often accompanied by aching. Many times, swelling is present also. It usually develops in the lower part of the legs and around the ankles. If you are having any of these symptoms, you should consult with our doctor. If it turns out that the symptoms are being caused by deep vein thrombosis, a treatment plan can be developed so the problem can be taken care of before it causes serious problems. These tests may also give you some peace of mind by ruling out deep vein thrombosis as a cause for the symptoms.
Of the many conditions that can result from venous insufficiency, varicose veins are the most common. In addition to the symptoms they can produce, they usually have a negative impact on the appearance. They can bulge out from the skin in a way that looks like small pieces of rope under the skin. They also cause discoloration in most cases, as they are often blue in color.
Conditions that increase the risk for venous insufficiency include age. The risk increases as you grow older. In addition, people who are overweight or do not get enough exercise are more likely to develop the disorder. Smoking is another factor, as is a family history of varicose veins.
If you have varicose veins and are bothered by either their appearance or the symptoms they produce, discuss the possibility of venous insufficiency with one of the trusted medical professionals at South Texas Vein Institute. One of the many effective treatments we offer, such as prescription compression stockings, medication or sclerotherapy, may be able to help you. Regardless of the problem, we work directly with patients in the Edinburg area to provide them with a personalized treatment plan. To learn more about venous insufficiency and the treatments available for it, schedule a consultation with us today.