The veins in your body deliver blood from the extremities back to the heart. The blood in these veins does not have oxygen. When the heart pumps this blood into the lungs, they become oxygenated, and the arterial network carries the blood to the rest of the body to provide oxygen and nourishment. The return of the blood from the legs depends on the pumping action of the calf muscles. The venous function is also dependent on the viability of the valves within the veins.
A deeper look into venous insufficiency
When the doctor says you have venous insufficiency, the valves may be deficient, and your calf muscles may not be able to contract fully, perhaps because of mobility problems. When the diagnosis is chronic insufficiency, there may be an obstruction in the flow of blood through the veins because of a blockage. The block is in the form of a blood clot. You will feel deep aching pain on the affected leg, which will also start to swell due to blood pooling.
Surveys reveal about five percent of Americans suffer from some form of chronics venous insufficiency. The condition affects more women than men. Some of the reasons why people develop venous insufficiency are obesity, long-term immobility, estrogen therapy, and trauma to the veins. In some cases, even the best doctors cannot identify the true cause.
Your treatment options
The treatment recommendation from your physician will depend on numerous factors. According to Veniti, procedures such as placement of a stent in the vein are now increasing in popularity, particularly for a form of chronic insufficiency known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Stenting is primarily a procedure performed for diseases involving the arteries. Stenting comes hand in hand with angioplasty. The invasive procedure must only be performed by a skilled specialist — because it involves insertion of a catheter into the vein. A balloon serves to open the vessel to improve blood flow, and a stent is added to maintain the opening.
Plenty of information is available about venous insufficiency. Learn more about the disease so you can make informed decisions about treatment options.