What is Venous Reflux?
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) disease, also known as venous reflux, develops when the vein walls and or vein valves that keep blood flowing from the legs back to the heart become weakened or damaged. Your legs contain a network of veins constantly carrying blood back to your heart.
Superficial veins (near the surface of the skin) connect to perforating veins. Perforating veins carry blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins of the thigh and calf.
Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. Venous reflux can cause blood to pool backwards in your legs, which can lead to a progression of symptoms, including leg discomfort, swelling, varicose veins and potentially venous ulcers.
Ultrasound imaging allows us to easily locate the source of any underlying venous reflux and treat accordingly. Please contact us for more information.
Venous reflux disease and varicose veins are a predominantly hereditary condition and lifestyle often determines how this medical condition will progress. This condition can worsen over time if left untreated and take on different physical presentations as it graduates to more advanced disease.
Thin, reddish-bluish spider veins are generally more of a cosmetic issue as they do not necessitate treatment, but sometimes can be signs of deeper underlying vein disease. Bulging, ropey, heavy varicose veins indicate early stage disease, whereas changes in skin tone and texture and ulcerations are signs of end-stage disease.
Treatments for spider veins include both sclerotherapy and our Venefit™ procedure. Also, most treatments consist of an in-office procedure with no hospital stay required. Please contact us for more information.
Swelling of the leg is a further sign that damaged or diseased vein valves are not functioning properly. Since the blood cannot be effectively returned to the heart, it pools in the leg resulting in higher than normal pressure (venous hypertension), and causes the leg to swell.
Skin Color Changes
Abnormal blood flow out of the legs through superficial and perforating veins produces higher-than-normal pressure and can lead to damage to the skin. Progression of venous reflux can cause changes in the skin’s color (skin takes on a reddish-brownish tinge) as well as changes in skin texture.
What are Venous Ulcers?
Venous ulcers are the most severe stage of venous reflux disease, commonly near the ankle. Damaged or diseased perforating veins are the source of venous reflux in nearly two-thirds of venous ulcer patients.
Venous ulcers are raw and painful wounds and may not always be healed using antibiotics or salves. Attempts to heal the skin without correcting the underlying venous insufficiency can lead to a delayed ulcer healing and recurrence.
Up to 1.8 million people in the US are afflicted with venous ulcers. Our practice is experienced in offering the most progressive approaches in treating patients with advanced symptoms of venous reflux, including venous leg ulcers.
Early diagnosis and treatment of venous insufficiency can stop the disease from progressing, and can treat these painful and aesthetically undesirable symptoms. A consultation with our vein specialists will allow us to determine whether you may be at risk for or have venous disease. Please contact us for more information.