Many people have venous insufficiency and don’t realize it until it is serious. It may occur with completely normal appearing legs (no visible varicose veins, swelling, or discoloration). Unless vein treatment is performed, this process moves beyond discoloration resulting in venous ulcers and chronic wounds. These wounds tend to recur quite frequently until the underlying circulation problem – chronic venous insufficiency – is dealt with.
Venous insufficiency only gets worse. It never gets better. It never stays the same. Compression socks can be used to slow progression.
This under-diagnosed and under-treated condition may present without varicose veins. Symptoms including:
- leg fatigue, itching, and heaviness
- leg pain including throbbing, aching and burning pain
- leg cramps, particularly nighttime cramping
- leg swelling, also called leg edema
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- venous ulcers and chronic wounds
Venous insufficiency means blood cannot return from the legs effectively so it tends to pool in the ankles and legs. Each of the veins in the legs has a series of one-way valves that help drive blood up, against the force of gravity, back to the heart. When one or a series of valves is broken – usually something that people are born with – blood is allowed to flow backwards. Over the course of the day, blood pools in the legs causing the symptoms of venous insufficiency.
Treatment is performed in the office using local anesthesia and, for many patients, is a cure. Patients seeking vein treatment in the East Bay and greater San Francisco Bay Area can often be treated over the course of a few short visits. Patients visiting Dr. Malvehy for vein treatment from outside the San Francisco Bay Area may be treated the same day after an initial video consultation.