Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a common circulatory disorder that affects millions of people in the United States. It can develop from a combination of factors, including damage to the veins, increased pressure on the veins, and problems with the valves in the veins.
Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when veins can no longer return blood to the heart and so pressure in the veins builds up (venous hypertension) and fluid accumulates in the tissues. This can cause pain, swelling, and a feeling of heaviness in the legs. In severe cases, CVI can lead to skin ulcers and even gangrene.
The superficial veins are located close to the surface of the skin, while the deep veins are located further down in the body. The two systems work together to return blood from the extremities back to the heart. Both systems can lead to chronic venous insufficiency and are treated differently.
Damaged superficial veins are the primary cause of chronic venous disease. Processes that damage the superficial venous system and lead to CVI, include:
As a result of any of these factors, the veins can become weak and unable to function properly.
Occassionally preblems in the deep veins lead to chronic venous insufficiency with major factors being:
These cause increased venous pressure. May Thurner syndrome also called "left sided iliac compression syndrome" is a condition in which the main left vein (the iliac vein) is compressed by the overlying right common iliac artery. This leads to increased pressure in the left side of the body and can cause CVI.
Some of the risk factors for CVI include:
Symptoms of CVI vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. They may include:
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) can also be a cause of restless legs syndrome.
Stasis dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that can occur in people with CVI. It is caused by the build-up of fluid and blood in the tissues, which can damage the skin. Symptoms include red, swollen, itchy skin, as well as blisters and sores.
The diagnosis of CVI is based on a physical examination and a review of your medical history. Imaging tests, such as Duplex ultrasound or MRI, may be used to help identify the cause of the problem.
There are five stages of chronic venous insufficiency:
Stage I: Mild symptoms with no skin changes
Stage II: Swelling, aching, and cramping in the lower legs
Stage III: Skin changes such as brown patches and swollen veins
Stage IV: Open sores (ulcers) on the leg
Stage V: Gangrene and loss of limb
Treatment for chronic venous insufficiency depends on the stage of the disease. In most cases, lifestyle changes such as exercise, weight loss, and avoidance of prolonged sitting or standing are recommended. Compression therapy may also be indicated. In more severe cases, "pinhole" procedures and even vascular surgery may be required.
Chronic venous insufficiency can be a very debilitating condition, but there are many treatments available. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for CVI, but common therapies depend on the source is the superficial system (the more common) or deep. What are treatments for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) caused by the SUPERFICIAL venous system.
Treatments aim to relieve venous congestion, decrease high venous pressure by improving blood flow to the heart and relieving blood pooling the legs.
Deep vein thrombosis is a serious health threat and should be treated promptly.
The physicians at Imaging & Interventional Specialists will start with a comprehensive history and physical exam. Then they may use the latest technology to diagnose chronic venous insufficiency. This includes Duplex ultrasound, CT aand magnetic resonance venography and conventional venography of you leg veins. We also use these technologies to help guide treatment for CVI and to determine how your blood flows in both you superficial system and deep system. In this way a personalized treatment plan can be created for your exact situation.
Imaging & Interventional Specialists will determine which minimally invasive vascular interventional radiology (VIR) procedures can address your situation and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Treatments can include:
For the superficial system:
When the deep system is open closing off problem areas of the superficial will increase blood flow via the functional deep system therefore decreasing venous hypertension and relieving symtpoms.
Supervicial veins can be closed off with::
Deep venous system problems are much less common and involve treating blockages that may result from vein narrowing or from blood clots blocking blood flow in the affected vein.
Every day our interventionalist successfully perform "pinholes" offering this region world class, state-of-the-art solutions to hronic venous insufficiency. Our minimally invasive image guided procedures are cutting edge technology without the cutting, without the scalpel. You leave with a Band-Aid!
Imaging & Interventional Specialists are leaders in interventional radiology and experts in the minimally invasive procedures that will address your chronic venous insufficiency.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, our experienced board-certified specialists are focused on your best outcome.
It is important to determine what is causing your chronic venous insufficiency and to treat these causes since CVI is associated with ulcers, deep vein thrombosis for examples.
At IMAGING & INTERVENTIONAL SPECIALISTS board-certified physicians offer in-house testing to determine the cause and develop an individualized treatment program for your chronic venous insufficiency.
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