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What is Venous Insufficiency or Varicose Veins?

What is Venous Insufficiency or Varicose Veins?

Posted on September 9, 2019 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

What is venous insufficiency or varicose veins? Venous insufficiency is a medical condition in which the veins of the body (usually of the legs) cannot pump blood back to the heart. This causes blood to accumulate in the blood vessels and eventually enlarge (varicose veins) or dilate.

Normally, blood flows from the heart to the legs through the arteries, and back to the heart through the veins. To push the blood up from the feet, the veins depend on the surrounding muscles and a one-way valve network to prevent blood from flowing backwards. If the muscles and valves of one direction weaken or fail, the vein becomes incompetent and blood begins to accumulate in the vein instead of returning to the heart.

Venous insufficiency causes symptoms such as: twisted and bulging veins the appearance of dark or blue violet colors on the surface of the skin swelling, itching, pain, burning, palpitation and muscle cramps in the legs heaviness and tiredness in the legs discoloration of the Venous insufficiency (varicose veins or varicose veins).

Any vein in the body can become varicose, but the condition occurs more frequently in the veins of the legs. Varicose veins are different from vascular spiders, or spider veins, which are small bluish and / or violet veins that are close to the skin and usually appear on the legs, and in some cases on the face. Vascular spiders generally do not cause pain and are considered primarily as a cosmetic problem. However, risk factors for venous insufficiency include: family history, pregnancy and other conditions that put pressure on the veins, legs, a history of blood clots, a history of smoking, standing or sitting for long periods of time being overweight, which Increases pressure on the menopausal aging legs, which results in a decrease in the elasticity of the blood vessels walls of the blood vessels that are weakened inflammation of the veins (known as phlebitis) chronic constipation and in rare cases, tumors.

Complications of venous insufficiency include: inflammation and swelling pain, bleeding skin ulcers when veins that are close to the surface of the skin burst blood clots, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis, superficial thrombophlebitis, a condition in which superficial veins that are near the skin of the leg become tender, inflamed, and look like a string.

How are varicose veins evaluated? Your physician will start by asking about your medical history and the symptoms you suffer. Also, you could order a venous ultrasound, a test that uses ultrasound to see if the valves in your veins are functioning normally and to look for blood clots.

How is venous insufficiency treated?

Lifestyle changes could help prevent the formation of varicose veins. These changes include: raising the legs while sitting or sleeping using compression stockings or sales avoid standing for prolonged periods of time lose weight exercise to strengthen the legs. If lifestyle changes do not relieve symptoms or if the pain is severe, your doctor may recommend treatment options. At Illinois Vein, we are treatment specialists. Always providing the best service. Make your inquiry, we will be attentive to any concerns.



At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us.  That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today.  We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Glenview, Northbrook, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. 

We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.



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Tagged venous insufficiency, medical treatment of varicose veins, varicose vein, hereditary varicose vein, center of excellence, varicose veins prevention


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