What is CVI?
CVI takes place when the lower leg blood vessels do not sufficiently transport blood back to the heart. Arterial blood vessels, or arteries, carry our blood from the heart throughout the body and veins bring our blood back to the heart. Issues with valves within the leg veins may not properly move the blood, causing some blood to pool or even move in the wrong direction. These valves which aren’t functioning properly can result in blood inside the lower limbs to collect in the veins, a condition called “stasis”. If CVI remains unattended, leg pain, inflammation, and leg ulcers may result.
CVI isn’t always a critical health risk; however the condition is often debilitating and causes leg pain to many residents of Portland.
Are you at risk for CVI?
CVI is more common than you think. Vein doctors estimate about 40 percent of people in the US have this condition. It occurs more often in women and among people aged over 50. Aside from these, other risk factors include:
- Varicose veins or a family history of varicose veins
- Long periods of sitting or standing
- Inactivity or lack of exercise
- Deep vein thrombosis
To confirm that a patient has CVI, a vein specialist needs to do a complete medical history and physical exam, which will involve a closer look at your legs to assess swelling or varicose veins. Your vein specialist will need to do a diagnostic test in the form of a duplex or vascular ultrasound to examine how blood circulates in your legs.
CVI treatments to relieve leg pain will depend on your age, medical history, extent of condition, and tolerance for medications, among other factors. Your vein specialist may recommend methods to improve blood flow in leg veins such as wearing compression stockings, regular exercise, or simply avoiding long periods of sitting or standing still. For more serious CVI conditions, a vein specialist could prescribe a treatment such as Venefit.
PORTLAND, OR 97255
Phone: (503) 296-4030
Fax: (503) 216-2488