What is CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency)?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

is a health condition in which, because of their weakened state, the leg veins are not able to pump back deoxygenated blood to the heart. Apart from the weakened state of veins, it can happen because of hereditary absence of such veins as well. Other factors, which can result in CVI, include endothelial trauma, incompetent vein due thrombi, hypercougulability, and venous stasis created thrombi formation.  Since this health condition is chronic, it means that the leg veins will keep on getting narrower, thinner or weaker and cause blood to delay in reaching heart.

There are quite a number of risk factors associated with this health condition. It is usually people who are aged above 50 suffer from CVI. However, even though t he risk factor of Chronic Venous Insufficiency is directly proportional to age, other factors such as leading an inactive lifestyle, obesity, heredity etc. can cause one to experience this health issue. The individuals who have a hereditary history of DVI or deep vein thrombosis, physical inactivity, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, extended period of standing or sitting etc. can cause one to be exposed to risks regarding CVI. Thos who smoke also have higher chances of experiencing this health issue.

As the veins’ valves and walls become weak as in the valves stop working or the walls become thicker and narrower, blood starts to accumulate in the lower leg region.  It increases pressure on leg veins and it causes varicose veins, a type of twisted and swollen veins, to appear on thighs, calves, and ankles. Many even experience discomfort as the leg veins experience hypertension due to prolonged standing. For this reason, who have to work by standing for extended period feel a burning sensation, ache and heavy feeling on legs. The capillary membranes can also be damaged. Some patients also experience change in leg skin texture. The skin of leg become flaky, itchy, and thick and gives off a leathery feel.  It can happen due to skin fibrosis, subcutaneous tissues, and capillary proliferation or from fat necrosis. Because of hemosiderin accumulation, the skin will have brown or reddish color.

The patients who suffer from skin ulcer and leg pain due to chronic venous insufficiency are often treated through vein ligation. It is because the patients experience poor blood flow due to leg skin getting thick and hard. In order to treat CVI, doctors even use sclerotherapy in which a strong chemical is injected in to the affected veins. This chemical makes the abnormal veins to be scarred and thus it helps to prevent accumulation of blood in those veins.  The body, to flow back the blood to the heart, uses the remaining veins. In the ablation treatment procedure, physicians insert catheter inside the varicose veins. This catheter heats the vein walls and destroys the vein tissues of the abnormal vein. These treatment procedures are used to treat those who are in the later stages of chronic venous insufficiency.

Easier methods are used to treat CVI in preliminary stages. For example, doctors advise their patients to use compression stockings. These elastic stockings squeeze the veins so that the surplus blood flow can be stopped. These stockings also help to manage skin sores caused by CVI.