When veins are unable to carry blood toward the heart due to blocked vein valves is called venous insufficiency. It damages the veins of the legs and makes it difficult to send blood from limbs back to the heart. The blood does not flow properly towards the heart and causes blood to pool in the legs. It increases the pressure in the veins of the legs. The damage to the following veins causes venous insufficiency:
- Superficial veins: These veins are very close to the skin’s surface. Blood clotting occurs in superficial veins and causes severe pain, inflammation, redness, and swelling of veins in the legs and arms.
- Deep veins: These veins are prominent in the body and primarily present in the muscles. Blood clotting in deep veins mainly occurred in the legs due to damaged veins and blocked blood flow.
Other causes of venous insufficiency
The most common causes of this disorder are blood clotting or varicose veins. In normal veins, the blood is properly supplied from the limbs back to the heart. The backflow of blood is blocked by the blockage of valves of the veins. The blocked blood flow creates blood clotting, which results in venous insufficiency. This disorder mainly occurs in women than men. It mostly appears at the age of 50 or above. Following are the causes of venous insufficiency:
- Blood clotting
- Weakness of muscles
- Standing for a long time
Symptoms of venous insufficiency
Symptoms of this disorder include:
- Cramping in legs
- Achiness in legs
- Weakness of legs
- Thickness of skin
- Discoloration of skin
- Ulcer in legs
- Swelling of legs
The doctor checks the complete medical history and performs various examinations of the patient to figure out venous insufficiency. The medical test for this disorder includes:
- Venogram: In this test, contrast material is inserted into the patient’s veins to determine blood flow. It is used to diagnose deep vein thrombosis and other disorders in the veins. A venogram is an X-ray that uses radiation to view the clear image of bones, organs, and veins.
- Duplex ultrasound: In this test, the speed of blood flow or the structure of veins in the legs is determined with the help of high-frequency sound waves. It involves the two types of ultrasound, such as Doppler and B-mode. The B-mode is a rapid and painless procedure to examine the arteries and blood vessels.
Treatment of Venous Insufficiency
Treatment of venous insufficiency depends on different factors. The doctor examines all the disease-causing factors and suggests treatment accordingly. Factors include:
- Older age
- Severity of symptoms
- Toleration of medication and diagnosis
- Condition of the patient
Mostly, compression socks are suggested by doctors to treat venous insufficiency.
Doctors suggest you wear unique stretchable or compression stockings, which puts pressure on the lower legs to maintain blood flow easily. It is also helpful in decreasing the swelling of veins. These compression socks are readily available in pharmacies and medical stores. These are available in different lengths and price rates.
Doctors use different strategies to treat venous insufficiency, which are as follows:
- Improvement in blood flow: Blood flow can be improved by adopting the following strategies:
- Stretching and uplifting legs
- Wearing stretchable socks
- Doing physical activity
- Avoid folding legs across each other
- Medications: The doctor suggests different medications to treat venous insufficiency, which are as follows:
- Diuretics: It reduces pain, swelling, and excess fluid from the body. It also improves the blood flow in the blood vessels with the help of compression socks. It is a short-term treatment that is also used to cure ulcers.
- Anticoagulants: It is used to thin the blood and treat and prevent future blood clots. It is an initial treatment that takes almost three months to cure different types of venous insufficiency.
- Pentoxifylline: It treats leg ulcers and different types of venous insufficiency. It is also used to improve blood flow in the veins. The doctor suggests 400mg of dosage daily for its valuable results.
- Surgery: In severe cases, the doctor suggests one of the following surgery types for the patient:
- Replacement of veins and valves.
- Discarding the damaged veins.
Types of Surgeries
- Endoscopic surgery. In this surgery, the doctor inserts a small device with a camera to determine the veins’ image and discard the damaged vein.
- Bypass surgery: In this procedure, a vein is transplanted from your other body parts. It is the last option to treat severe venous insufficiency, primarily used in the upper thighs of legs.
- Laser surgery: It is used to treat, close, or fade the damaged blood vessels and veins.
- Catheterization procedure: A thin, flexible tube is inserted into the patient’s blood vessel to treat venous insufficiency. The device shows a clear image of the veins. The heat from the catheter is used to close and seal the vein.
- Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, the medicine is injected into the shrinked veins. As a result, the damaged veins fade away from the lower legs. It takes more than one month to give its beneficial result to the patient. More than one Sclerotherapy is done in the patient.
- Don’t stand for a more extended period in one position.
- Avoid smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Take a healthy diet
- Maintain normal weight