When Your blood doesn’t flow properly through your veins and arteries, symptoms can flare up suddenly and drastically. You may think, for example, that your legs are just tired after working all day when in actuality, you may have venous insufficiency that’s impeding proper blood flow. This is a condition that doesn’t go away on its own. You need treatment from a top Brooklyn vein specialist at Century Medical and Dental Center. And the earlier you receive treatment, the better odds you have of reducing the risks of severe consequences. So call today for an appointment.
When the veins in your legs are healthy, they transport blood back to your heart properly. The one-way valves in your legs keep blood from flowing backwards. When these valves don’t work correctly, blood collects in the veins of your lower legs, which is called stasis. A condition in which leg veins have difficulty sending blood back to your heart is known as venous insufficiency.
When blood pools in your lower leg, fluid leaks out of the veins and causes the skin to become itchy and inflamed. This is called stasis dermatitis. The Brooklyn vein doctors at Century Medical and Dental Center provide you with chronic venous insufficiency treatment and venous stasis dermatitis treatment. And since these vein specialists are part of a multi-disciplinary practice, you can receive treatment for any co-occurring or underlying medical conditions that led to your vein issues.
Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Swelling in your ankles and lower legs, especially if you tend to stand for long periods of time, may be a sign of chronic venous insufficiency. Other symptoms include:
- Cramping in your leg muscles
- A heaviness or a dull, achy feeling in your legs
- Pain that improves if your legs are raised and worsens when you’re standing
- Varicose veins you may not have had previously
Skin changes that may indicate chronic venous stasis dermatitis include:
- Itching or flaking of skin on your feet or legs
- Cracked skin, especially if you scratch it
- Thickening skin, making it resemble leather
If your condition isn’t treated, symptoms usually worsen. Tissue damage can lead to venous stasis ulcers or sores on your skin’s surface. Venous stasis ulcers can become infected, and they’re sometimes very difficult to treat. Gangrene or cellulitis can set in, possibly leading to amputation of your foot or leg.
Causes and Risk Factors of Venous Insufficiency
Venous insufficiency is caused by damage to the valves that keep the blood flowing in one direction, up toward the heart. The most common causes of valve damage include:
- Sitting or standing for extended periods of time
- The wear and tear of aging
- Reduced mobility
You’re at increased risk of developing this condition if others in your family have had it. Obesity, pregnancy and a history of deep vein thrombosis are other risk factors. If you develop deep vein thrombosis as a result of a blood clot in your leg, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) may develop. Pelvic tumors and vascular malformations also can cause CVI. The vein disorder affects women more than men and typically strikes after the age of 50.
Diagnosing Venous Insufficiency
Your Brooklyn doctor examines your legs. Questions follow about your medical history. Make sure you describe the symptoms you’re experiencing.
A vascular or duplex ultrasound is used to examine the circulation in your legs. This test measures the speed and direction of blood flow in your legs. It’s a non-invasive test that’s performed by passing a small device called a transducer over your skin.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatment
In its early stages, treatment for venous insufficiency involves making lifestyle changes, such as:
- Losing weight if necessary
- Exercising regularly
- Elevating your legs
- Wearing compression stockings
- Trying to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time
As venous insufficiency progresses and you’re experiencing increasing leg pain or sores on your skin, your doctor may suggest other forms of venous stasis treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed for skin ulcer treatment and treatment of skin infections. Other treatment methods may include:
- Sclerotherapy. This form of treatment involves injecting a solution into small varicose veins or spider veins, causing the veins to collapse. This relieves discomfort and prevents complications such as ulceration.
- Radiofrequency ablation or endogenous laser ablation. This is a minimally invasive procedure, during which a tube is used to apply heat to the affected vein. This closes off the vein and improves your overall blood flow.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help increase blood flow through the blood vessels and to prevent blood clots. Topical corticosteroids may be used as a form of venous stasis dermatitis treatment. Fewer than 10 percent of the people who develop CVI require surgery, but when it’s necessary, it may include:
- Vein ligation and stripping
- Microincision/ambulatory phlebectomy
- Bypass surgery
Expert Care for Venous Insufficiency
Do not ignore the symptoms of venous insufficiency. Treatment started in the early stages allows you to manage your condition or prevent it from getting worse. This condition doesn’t go away by itself.
If you’re experiencing pain or swelling in your lower legs and ankles, contact the Downtown Brooklyn medical practitioners at Century Medical and Dental Center. You’ll receive a firm diagnosis so that you can begin the best treatment options for your specific condition.