Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the leg veins do not allow blood to travel back to the heart. Problems with valves in the veins can cause the blood to flow both directions, not just toward the heart. These valves that are not working properly can cause blood in the legs to pool. If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, pain, swelling, and leg ulcers may result. This problem does not pose a serious health threat, but the condition can be debilitating and painful. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures may include a duplex ultrasound, or a venogram.
Based on the outcome of the tests your doctor will administer a specific treatment taking into account your age, health, medical history, the extent of the disease, medication tolerance, symptoms, and preferences. After everything is assessed, your treatment might be as simple as elevating your legs to reduce pressure, wearing compression stocking to apply pressure, or regular exercise. Other treatments include medications, sclerotherapy, or surgery depending on the extent of the damage.