Home Conditions Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Varicose Veins: What You Need to Know

Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Varicose Veins: What You Need to Know

by Dr. Joe Morales

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is linked to many medical spectra, which ranges from cosmetic issues to more serious signs, including ulceration.

Older people are prone to this condition, and women, especially pregnant ones, are more likely to experience it than men are. The venous system of the lower legs is made up of an intertwined set-up of superficial veins, deep veins, and perforator veins.

When there is decreased blood flow from the veins of the leg to the heart, with clogging of blood in the veins, it results in CVI.

Varicose veins, on the other hand, serves as a symptom of venous insufficiency, and are characterized by elongated visible veins that have the appearance of a rope and can be seen bulging just under the skin’s surface.

Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency

At first, there might not be any symptom of venous insufficiency, only the appearance of visible veins in the legs.

Nevertheless, as time goes on, if the condition becomes worse, it might bring discomfort and even pain, coupled with many other symptoms such as:


  • Charlie horses / Muscle cramps
  • fatigue and Leg heaviness
  • Skin breakdown or discoloration
  • ankles and calves Swelling
  • Legs become restless at night
  • Itching of the skin around the veins

Treatments for CVI

If you are having minor symptoms of venous insufficiency, exercising, lifting the legs up and also wearing compression stockings might do the trick.

In addition, avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time so as to prevent blood from pooling in the legs.

However, if you are suffering from a more complicated and serious chronic venous insufficiency, then you may want to see a medical doctor.

If you visit a vein doctor, there are various treatment methods available, all depending on the seriousness of the condition. Some of the treatment methods include:

  • A minimally-invasive procedure that aids in effectively eliminating diseased veins and improve venous circulation of the legs.
  • Medical grade graduated compression stockings.
  • Conservative treatment.

Is venous insufficiency a serious health problem?

If you noticed it on time and it gets treated early, venous insufficiency hardly develops into serious complications. You can even promptly treat chronic venous insufficiency that has lasted for long. Over 25% of the American adult population suffers from symptomatic superficial venous insufficiency and varicose veins. This gives rise to over 2 million workdays lost every year.

Even though women have this condition more frequently, men also suffer from it. To many people, varicose veins and spider veins (a common, trivial and medically minor variation of varicose veins), don’t have any symptom but are only a cosmetic concern.

Nevertheless, other people with venous insufficiency develop different uncomfortable leg symptoms that include cramping, aching, pain and burning. If left unattended to for a very long period, it may lead to more complicated issues such as ulceration and bleeding.

Are you worried about varicose veins or other vein issues? Then contact your vein doctor to find out how your condition can be managed.

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1 comment

Jacob McIntire Nov 1, 2020 - 9:53 am

Varicose veins are enlarged swollen veins that appear close to the surface of the skin and are deep blue or purple in color. They are usually unsightly, and caused by malfunctioning veins. Although any vein can become varicose, but veins most commonly affected are those found in the legs and feet.