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What are Venous Disease and Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Your veins are blood vessels that return oxygen-poor blood from all over the body to the heart. Venous disease is a group of disorders that impact vein tissue and your vessels’ ability to function. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a severe venous disease that occurs with high pressure and blood pooling.

Venous disease treatment in the Puget Sound: Why choose us?

We offer more venous disease treatments you need in one program, including the full range of tests and therapies. Our highly skilled team coordinates the services that optimize your vein health and quality of life. 

Treatment is available in clinic locations throughout the Puget Sound. Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today.

What do venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency feel like?

Early-stage venous disease may cause mild symptoms, some of which you may notice only when sitting or standing for long periods. CVI symptoms are more severe and difficult to ignore. 

You may experience: 

  • Bulging veins
  • Leg cramps
  • Pain or dull ache in your legs
  • Sensation that your limbs are heavier than usual
  • Skin that’s warm to the touch or unusually dark
  • Swelling in legs and ankles that improves if you elevate your feet
  • Tingling or “pins and needles” sensation
  • Ulcers on the shins and ankles

What causes venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency?

With venous disease, valves in your veins that help move blood toward the heart weaken. Venous disease may also occur due to weak or unusually wide vein walls. If the walls and valves worsen, blood may pool in your legs. Pooling blood puts you at risk for additional complications, such as venous ulcers and blood clots.

Venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency risk factors

Certain factors increase your risk for venous disease, including: 

  • Family history: A family history of venous disease increases your likelihood of having it.
  • Carrying extra weight: Having obesity or previous pregnancies puts additional strain on your veins.
  • Daily habits: Standing or sitting for long periods raises your venous disease risk.
  • Other venous issues: Conditions such as deep vein thrombosis increase the chances of developing CVI.

Types of venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency

Conditions we treat include: 

  • May-Thurner syndrome: A nearby artery presses on the vein returning blood from the left leg to the heart, interfering with blood flow.
  • Nutcracker syndrome: Blood vessels press on the left renal (kidney) vein, causing flank pain and blood in the urine.
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome: Enlarged pelvic veins can cause chronic pelvic pain or, in men, varicoceles. 
  • Varicose veins: These swollen, twisted veins often affect the legs, causing them to feel heavy or achy.
  • Venous ulcer: Pooling blood in your leg veins damages skin tissue, leading to slow-healing sores around your ankles and shins.

Venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency diagnosis

Your evaluation starts with a physical exam by one of our doctors. We discuss whether your symptoms improve or worsen while performing simple tasks like standing and sitting. Vascular testing in our accredited lab may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis and its severity. We offer sophisticated options, like duplex ultrasound, that help us assess veins and blood flow.

Treatments for venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency

Medications and lifestyle changes may be enough to halt early-stage venous disease. For CVI and complications, you may need more advanced therapies, like surgery. Read more about our vein treatment services.

  • Your personalized venous disease treatment plan may include: 

    • Compression stockings: Wearing tight-fitting long stockings puts gentle pressure on the legs, which improves circulation.
    • Lifestyle changes: Maintain a healthy weight. If you use tobacco, get the support you need to quit for good.
    • Modifying daily habits: Avoid sitting or standing for long periods. You may also need to elevate your feet periodically to improve blood flow.
  • Surgical procedures repair damaged veins and improve blood flow. We offer minimally invasive surgery that uses small incisions and instruments, as well as traditional open procedures. We discuss the options that are best for your needs and how they can reduce symptoms. Our experience from performing a high volume of vascular surgery gives you the best chances for excellent results.

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Learn more about testing and treatment in the Puget Sound.