Venous or Vein disease occurs when the veins in your legs become unable to return blood back from your legs to your heart.
Healthy leg veins have valves that keep blood flowing to the heart. Venous reflux disease, also known as chronic venous disease or venous insufficiency, develops when the valves stop working properly and allow blood to flow backward (i.e., reflux) and pool in the lower leg veins. Chronic venous disease refers to persistent, progressive conditions that worsen over time and should be addressed with intervention by a medical professional to help alleviate and decrease pain and discomfort. If venous reflux disease is left untreated, symptoms can worsen over time.
Types of Vein Conditions
Signs of serious, chronic venous disease include:
- spider veins
- varicose veins
- leg swelling
- an itchy rash on your legs
- darkening of the skin
- leg ulcers
- poorly healing or recurrent sores on the legs.
Common Symptoms of Vein Disease
Vein disease may present with a variety of signs and symptoms, many of which are painful, even debilitating. If you begin to experience significant, persistent symptoms such as leg pain, tired or heavy legs, ulcers, skin changes such as darkening or rashes, varicose veins or recurrent cellulitis. It is best to seek evaluation and treatment by a physician as soon as possible.
Who is at Risk for Vein Disease?
A variety of risk factors may contribute to a person developing vein disease. Some are unavoidable, such as age and genetics, but other health and lifestyle elements may also lead to vascular conditions, such as varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency. It is estimated that one in three Americans over the age of 45 has some form of vascular disease.
- Venous reflux disease, also known as chronic venous insufficiency, affects more than 30 million Americans.1,2
- Varicose veins, a common symptom of venous reflux disease, can affect up to 40 percent of adults.3
- Varicose veins are more common in those who are overweight, and in women who have had more than two pregnancies.3
- Women usually have multiple risk factors for the development of varicose veins. In fact, varicose veins are more common in women (75 percent of those diagnosed) than in men (25 percent of those diagnosed).1,4
- Up to 55 percent of American women may be affected by varicose veins in their lifetime.5
- It is common for varicose veins to become more prominent during pregnancy and worsen with successive pregnancies.5
How is venous reflux disease treated?
Venous reflux disease treatment aims to reduce or stop the abnormal, backward flow of blood. For some patients, compression stockings alone may reduce symptoms and decrease the backward flow of blood. For other patients, closing or removing the diseased veins may be necessary to alleviate symptoms. Closing or removing the diseased veins directs blood to nearby healthy veins. At Texas Endovascular all of these procedures can be done in the office without the use of sedation and patients can return to work the same day.
Schedule Your Appointment
Please contact us with any questions you might have about vein disease, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with us to have your vascular disease diagnosed and treated.
- Gloviczki, P, Comerota, A, Dalsing, M, Eklof, B, Gillespie, D, Gloviczki, M, et al. The care of patients with varicose veins and associated chronic venous diseases: Clinical practice guidelines of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. J Vasc Surg. 2011 May; 53 (5 Suppl): 2S-48S.
- US Markets for Varicose Vein Treatment Devices 2011, Millennium Research Group. 2011.
- Tisi, P. Varicose veins. Clin Evid (Online). 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21477400
- American College of Phlebology. Patient FAQs. http://www.phlebology.org/patientinfo/faq.html#varicoseveins
- American College of Phlebology. Treatment of varicose and spider veins. Phlebology.Org’s Varicose Vein Brochure