Vein Problems Explained

More than 30 million people suffer from vein problems but only less than 2 million seek treatment. Vein problems can be caused by either what is known as chronic venous insufficiency or venous obstruction.

Chronic venous insufficiency

Veins bring blood back to the heart. Veins have valves which help push it up against gravity to the heart. When there is damaged done to these valves the blood flows backward increasing the pressure in the legs. This is known as chronic venous insufficiency (also known as venous reflux). Another etiology is obstruction. Many people have a history of thrombosis in the vein or undiagnosed Iliac vein compression or May-Thurner syndrome.

Over time, both reflux and obstruction causes the pressure in the veins to increase which leads to a host of signs and symptoms including varicose veins, leg pain, night cramps, restless legs, neuropathy, leg and ankle swelling, skin changes such as hyperpigmentation, and can ultimately lead to skin sores/wounds.

What causes them?

Multiple possible reasons including hereditary, overweight/obese, jobs which require either sitting or standing all day. Females have a higher risk especially after having children.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of venous problems can usually be done by performing a simple ultrasound. Treatments can range from lifestyle changes and compression stockings to minimally invasive approaches such as endovenous ablation, ambulatory microphlebectomy, and sclerotherapy.