What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

If you have an issue with your circulatory system, such as varicose veins or a blood clot, also called Deep Vein Thrombosis, you have probably discussed a treatment plan with your vein specialist or phlebologist. In the case of varicose veins, treatment might involve simple lifestyle changes (losing weight, getting more physically active, elevating the legs), as well as medical remedies like sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, or laser vein therapy.

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Did you know that your smaller, treatable vein issues can have a larger impact on overall circulation in your legs? When certain complications arise due to your existing varicose veins or blood clot, you have chronic venous insufficiency.

Lee's Summit | Chronic Venous InsufficiencyComplications from Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Swelling in the Feet, Ankles, and Legs

Chronic venous insufficiency might be the cause behind swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet. As the blood pressure increases due to valve damage and the vein walls grow weaker, fluid escapes the veins, causing uncomfortable swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs.

Skin Discoloration

Along with fluids, red blood cells also seep out of the veins. As your skin absorbs the iron that was once in the red blood cells, it turns a brownish color. At first, you might notice brown spots around your ankles, but eventually the entire ankle area can turn brown; this condition is known as hyperpigmentation. The discoloration can appear more red than brown if there is also inflammation in the region; this is called dermatitis. These skin discolorations are a sign of chronic venous insufficiency.

Thickening of the Skin

Your skin may thicken and feel hard or leathery as your whole lower leg gets discolored. This hardening is known as lipodermatosclerosis, and it can be quite painful. If you notice that your skin is growing thicker and harder, you may have chronic venous insufficiency.

Open Sores

As the vein pressure in your legs grows increasingly high, your skin can break and form an open sore, known as a venous ulceration. These ulcerations may appear on the inner or outer portions of your lower legs or ankles.

Treating Chronic Venous Insufficiency

If you have varicose veins, or if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, you should see a phlebology expert like Summit Skin & Vein Care. We can perform ultrasound exams to identify if you have chronic venous insufficiency, then develop a treatment plan for you. This may require you to wear graduated compression stockings that help pump blood to your heart and mitigate the effects of gravity on your veins. We can also provide medical vein treatments for chronic venous insufficiency as necessary.

Contact Summit Skin & Vein Care at  (816) 533-4398 today for more information on chronic venous insufficiency or to schedule an appointment!

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