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Venous Insufficiency

Ramon Vazquez, MD -  - Board Certified General Surgeon

Ramon Vazquez, MD

Board Certified General Surgeon & Vascular and Endovascular Surgery located in West Palm Beach, FL

Up to 40% of adults middle-aged or older, especially women, suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. General and vascular surgeon Ramon Vazquez Jr., MD, provides state-of-the-art care for chronic venous insufficiency at his practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. If you have varicose veins, spider veins, or other signs of chronic venous insufficiency, call Ramon Vazquez, MD, PA, or book an appointment online today.

Venous Insufficiency Q & A

What is chronic venous insufficiency?

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) happens when the valves in your veins don’t work properly, instead allowing blood to pool. Without treatment, CVI may lead to varicose veins and other problems. 

Unlike arteries, which use the force of your beating heart to pump blood, veins rely on muscle contractions to return blood to the heart. Veins contain one-way valves to prevent blood from flowing backward. The veins in your legs work extra hard to fight gravity, which is why CVI usually affects your legs. CVI may also affect your arms.

What causes chronic venous insufficiency?

The valves in your veins can become insufficient for a variety of reasons. A common cause of CVI is a blood clot in one of the deep veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis). 

Certain factors may increase your risk of CVI, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Being pregnant
  • Having a family history of CVI
  • Having a personal history of a leg injury, surgery, or blood clot

Physical inactivity, especially sitting or standing for long periods of time, may also increase your risk of CVI.

What are the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency?

Most CVI symptoms start off mild and worsen as the disease progresses. Common signs and symptoms of CVI include:

  • Swelling and pain in the affected limb
  • Tight, itchy, or flaking skin
  • Varicose or spider veins
  • Darkened or leathery-looking skin
  • Open wounds that are slow to heal (ulcers)

CVI causes many symptoms that are also common to lymphedema, like pain, itching, burning, and tiredness in the legs. But the causes and treatments for these conditions differ, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from an expert vascular surgeon like Dr. Vazquez. 

How is chronic venous insufficiency diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose CVI, Dr. Vazquez reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam. He may also take an imaging test to examine the blood flow in your legs, like a Duplex ultrasound. 

Then, Dr. Vazquez discusses your best treatment options. Depending on your specific needs, treatment for CVI may include:

  • Wearing compression stockings and exercising more
  • Taking medications to manage CVI symptoms
  • Sclerotherapy to treat damaged or varicose veins

Dr. Vazquez may recommend a minimally invasive procedure, such as endovenous laser or radiofrequency ablation. These procedures heat the affected vein, causing it to shut down so blood redirects to healthy veins.

Chronic venous insufficiency is easiest to treat in its early stages; call the office of Ramon Vazquez, MD, PA, or book an appointment online today.