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Home > Health Library > Venous Insufficiency
Venous insufficiency is a problem with the flow of blood from the veins of the legs back to the heart. The veins of the legs might not work as they should. This can allow blood to leak backward. It can lead to problems that include varicose veins.
In venous insufficiency, the valves in the veins have become damaged. Theses valves normally keep blood flowing toward the heart. But damaged valves allow some blood to leak backward. This causes the veins to become overfilled. Fluid seeps out of the engorged veins into surrounding tissues. This results in tissue breakdown and venous skin ulcers.
Venous insufficiency is sometimes caused by deep vein thrombosis and high blood pressure inside leg veins.
You are more likely to have venous insufficiency if you:
Symptoms of venous insufficiency affect the legs. They may include:
Your doctor can diagnose venous insufficiency by examining your legs and by using a type of ultrasound test (duplex Doppler) to find out how well blood is flowing in your legs.
To reduce swelling and relieve pain caused by venous insufficiency, you can wear compression stockings. They are tighter at the ankles than at the top of the legs. They also can help venous skin ulcers heal. But there are different types of stockings, and they need to fit right. So your doctor will recommend what you need.
You also can try to:
If these treatments don't work, you may need medicine or a procedure to help relieve symptoms. Procedures might be done to close the vein, to remove the vein, or to improve blood flow.
Current as of:
July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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