It’s important to know that there are treatments for venous insufficiency including lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and avoiding sitting for long periods of time as well as surgery if necessary.
In this blog post, we will be discussing what is the best treatment for venous insufficiency.
What is Venous Insufficiency and How Does it Happen?
Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins are unable to return the blood back to your heart efficiently due to leaky valves. It is estimated to affect about 25 percent of adults in the United States. According to Society for Vascular Surgery, this condition may affect up to 40% of the U.S population. More common in women (especially after multiple pregnancies) and in people who are middle-aged or older.
This can be caused by several factors, including:
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Hereditary factors
- Trauma to the veins
- Prior blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
How to Identify Venous Insufficiency?
Venous insufficiency can develop gradually or suddenly. Some common symptoms include:
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Leg pain, especially after standing or walking for long periods of time
- A feeling of heaviness or fatigue in the legs
- Skin discoloration, especially around the ankles
- Varicose veins
- Restlessness, burning, or itching
If venous insufficiency is left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, including blood clots and skin ulcers. It’s important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
The Best Treatment for Venous Insufficiency
There are many different types of venous insufficiency treatments available. Treatment options vary depending on the severity and location of venous insufficiency. Many people with venous insufficiency can be treated with conservative measures such as lifestyle changes, compression stockings, and elevation. If these measures do not improve symptoms, then more aggressive treatment may be necessary.
Some of the best common venous insufficiency treatments include:
- Sclerotherapy: This is a medical procedure that involves injecting a solution into the veins to cause them to collapse and close off. This is a common treatment for spider veins. This is performed in an office setting and requires no anesthesia.
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT): These are minimally invasive procedures that use laser or radiofrequency energy to close off the veins. This requires local anesthesia and is completed in a vein clinic setting.
- Vein Stripping: This is a surgical procedure that removes the parts of the vein that are affected by venous insufficiency. This procedure requires a general anesthetic and is performed in an operating room. In the US vein stripping is rarely required due to lesser invasive technologies that have developed.
- Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS): In this procedure, a foam sclerosant is injected through a catheter into the vein under ultrasound guidance to close it off. The procedure is painless and is completed in a vein clinic.
How to Prevent Venous Insufficiency from Developing?
There are many different methods that can be taken to help prevent venous insufficiency from developing, and it is important for everyone to understand what these are so they can make the necessary changes in their lifestyle.
- One simple way to reduce your chances of venous insufficiency is to make sure that you are getting up and moving around often. If you have a job where you sit for most of the day, it is important to take breaks every hour or so to get up and move around. Even if it is just for a few minutes, this can help improve blood circulation and reduce your risk of venous insufficiency
- Avoid obesity. This increases pressure on the veins causing valves to leak and fluid accumulation in the legs.
- Another thing that can help reduce venous insufficiency is to make sure you are eating healthy and exercising regularly. By maintaining a good diet, you will be able to avoid obesity and keep circulation flowing in the right direction. Also, if it is possible for you to exercise every day or at least three times per week, this can also greatly improve venous return through the movement of venous valves and muscles surrounding the venous system (the skeletal muscle pump).
Venous insufficiency is a condition that can cause symptoms such as leg pain or cramping. If you feel these symptoms and want to reduce your risk of developing venous insufficiency, request an appointment today with Dr. Schmetterer. We have many treatments for this condition depending on what stage it’s in. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get back on track so you don’t suffer from chronic venous insufficiency anymore.