Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart.


Normally, valves in your deeper leg veins keep your blood flowing back toward the heart so it does not collect in one place. But the valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to stay filled with blood, especially when you are standing.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a long-term condition. It occurs because a vein is partly blocked, or blood is leaking around the valves of the veins.
Risk factors for venous insufficiency include:
  • Age
  • Being female (related to levels of the hormone progesterone)
  • Being tall
  • Genetic factors
  • History of deep vein thrombosis in the legs
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sitting or standing for a long time


  • Dull aching, heaviness, or cramping in legs
  • Itching and tingling
  • Pain that gets worse when standing
  • Pain that gets better when legs are raised
  • Swelling of the legs
People with chronic venous insufficiency may also have:
  • Redness of the legs and ankles
  • Skin color changes around the ankles
  • Varicose veins on the surface (superficial)
  • Thickening and hardening of the skin on the legs and ankles (lipodermatosclerosis)
  • Ulcers on the legs and ankles


Take the following steps to help manage venous insufficiency:
  • Use compression stockings to decrease swelling.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Even moving your legs slightly will help the blood in your veins return to your heart.
  • Care for wounds if you have any open sores or infections.
Surgery (varicose vein stripping) or other treatments for varicose veins may be recommended if you have:
  • Leg pain, which may make your legs feel heavy or tired
  • Skin sores caused by poor blood flow in the veins
  • Thickening and hardening of the skin on the legs and ankles (lipodermatosclerosis)

Alternative Names

Chronic venous insufficiency


Bergan JJ, Schmid-Schonbein GW, Smith PD, et al. Chronic venous disease. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(5):488-498.
Freischlag JA, Heller JA. Venous disease. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012: chap 65.

Update Date: 6/27/2012

Updated by: Neil Grossman, MD, MetroWest Radiology Associates, Framingham, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

Link found:


Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic staff
Horse chestnut seed extract may be an effective treatment for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition associated with varicose veins in which leg veins have problems returning blood to the heart. The herb may help improve swelling and discomfort caused by varicose veins. Talk with your doctor before trying horse chestnut seed extract or any other herb or dietary supplement.

Link found:


Horse Chestnut Extract
Natural Care Vein-Gard
Good reviews.


  1. After further review I did notice that there are side affects with taking horse chestnut. Always talk to your doctor about taking new suppliments!

    Do not take horse chestnut with any of the following medications or herbal supplements:

    •a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), piroxicam (Feldene), oxaprozin (Daypro), and others;
    •clopidogrel (Plavix);
    •cilostazol (Pletal);
    •dipyridamole (Persantine, Aggrenox);
    •warfarin (Coumadin);
    •heparin, dalteparin (Fragmin), danaparoid (Orgaran), enoxaparin (Lovenox), or tinzaparin (Innohep);
    •garlic; or
    You may not be able to take horse chestnut, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

    Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with horse chestnut. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or other herbal/health supplements.

  2. Informative! Not everybody knows what chronic venous insufficiency treatment is and thanks to your blog for doing that! Keep sharing!

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  4. Informative post! It is a very effective for Venous Insufficiency.In your post you share valuable knowledge about signs and symptoms of Venous Insufficiency.