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Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart.

Venous insufficiency is caused by problems in one or more deeper leg veins. Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing back towards the heart so it does not collect in one place. But the valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to remain filled with blood, especially when you are standing.

The condition may also be caused by a blockage in a vein from a clot (deep vein thrombosis).

Symptoms

Symptoms of venous insufficiency may include:

  • Dull aching, heaviness, or cramping in legs
  • Itching and tingling
  • Pain that gets worse when standing
  • Pain that gets better when legs are raised
  • Swelling of the legs

People with chronic venous insufficiency may also have:

  • Redness of the legs and ankles
  • Skin color changes around the ankles
  • Varicose veins on the surface (superficial)
  • Thickening of the skin on the legs and ankles
  • Ulcers on the legs and ankles

Call your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of venous insufficiency.

Treatment:

Taking the following steps may help to manage venous insufficiency:

  • Use compression stockings to decrease chronic swelling.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Even moving your legs slightly will help the blood in your veins return to your heart.
  • Care for wounds aggressively if any skin breakdown or infection occurs.

Surgery (varicose vein stripping ) may be recommended.

Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.