Venous insufficiency is a condition characterized by poor circulation and the pooling of blood in the legs. Healthy veins return blood from the legs and other areas back to the heart. With venous insufficiency, this process is impaired, and the amount of blood that reaches the heart is reduced. Patients with the condition frequently experience leg pain, cramps, swelling in the legs, and leg ulcers. Venous insufficiency is most common in patients over fifty years old, and it occurs more often in females than in males. To diagnose the condition, doctors will perform a physical examination, and patients may also have an ultrasound or a venogram. If venous insufficiency is diagnosed, doctors typically recommend patients wear compression socks to reduce swelling and improve circulation. Elevating the legs several times a day is beneficial, and patients are encouraged to avoid crossing their legs. Some patients may be prescribed diuretics or anticoagulants, and surgical interventions such as laser surgery or a vein bypass may be needed in severe cases.
Some of the major causes and risk factors for venous insufficiency are outlined below.
Varicose veins are clusters of swollen, tangled veins, and they often bulge above the surface of the skin. Although these veins can form anywhere in the body, they are most frequently found in the legs. The skin around varicose veins may show signs of discoloration, and itching could develop. Patients typically report burning or throbbing, and the pain may be worse after prolonged periods of sitting or standing. To diagnose this condition, doctors perform ultrasounds to find out more information about a patient's blood flow and the health of their veins. Compression socks can reduce the pain and swelling from mild varicose veins, and doctors also recommend regular exercise. If varicose veins significantly affect a patient's quality of life, surgical interventions might be considered. Many of these operations can be performed on an outpatient basis, and doctors might suggest sclerotherapy, laser treatment, endoscopic vein surgery, or vein stripping.
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