Venous Insufficiency Program
Venous insufficiency equals bad valves.
Valves in veins help fight against gravity and direct flow upward in legs. Many factors increase pressure in veins and thus cause veins to dilate. Eventually increased pressure and dilation will damage valves. When valves fail, blood flows the wrong way which is called venous reflux.
How Common is Venous Reflux Disease?
Venous reflux disease is 2 times more prevalent than coronary heart disease and 5 times more prevalent than peripheral arterial disease. Of the estimated 25 million people with symptomatic superficial venous reflux, more than 23 million go untreated.
Prevalence by Age and Gender
|20 – 29||8%||1%|
|40 – 49||41%||24%|
|60 – 69||72%||43%|
Symptoms you might notice
- Leg cramping, aching, particularly at day’s end
- Heavy feeling in legs
- Dry, itchy skin
- Leg, ankle swelling
- Red/purple discoloration, particularly at the inner ankle or shins
- Open sores at inner ankle or other ulcerations
Causes of Venous Insufficiency
- Multiple pregnancies
- People who are on their feet for prolonged periods of time
- Heavy lifters
Venous Insufficiency Progresses
Superficial venous reflux is progressive and if left untreated, may worsen over time. Meet with your physician to review a detailed history of your symptoms. A trial of conservative management such as compression stockings, leg elevation, and exercise may be prescribed. Endovenous ablation is covered by most insurance plans and is a minimally invasive outpatient treatment. The procedure time is approximately 45 minutes with very minimal discomfort, usually requiring minimal sedation. See example:
Recovery Following Endovenous Ablation
Mild temporary bruising, minimal local swelling, and some tenderness are normal after treatment. Patient resumes regular activity the next day, must avoid sun exposure, including tanning booths, for 4 weeks, no hot baths for 2 weeks, and no airplane rides for 14 days after treatment.
Endovenous Ablation – Risks & Complications
- Patients with thrombus in the vein segment to be treated
- History of DVT
- Inability to ambulate
Potential Risks & Complications:
- Vessel perforation
- Adjacent nerve injury
- Skin burns
- Deep vein thrombosis
For more information call Wickenburg Community Hospital at 928-684-5421 and ask for Peter Stachowicz.