What we Know About Superficial Venous Insufficiency
- Posted on: Oct 15 2017
Most of us didn’t go to medical school, but even those who did will probably admit to forming a few assumptions about certain health conditions. In the world of vein health, doctors often do not fare much better than their patients in understanding superficial venous insufficiency – at least not during medical school. The common school of thought is that this condition, also referred to as varicose veins, is a cosmetic problem more so than a condition with potential implications. The second idea that may develop is that treatment options will not provide lasting relief.
Here’s what we’ve learned: neither of these assumptions are valid. Like most assumptions, the truth is so far beneath the surface that one must dig a bit to reach it. Fortunately, we’ve done that, and our patients benefit from this.
What causes venous insufficiency?
For blood to flow properly, the stage must be set well. The heart pumps blood through chambers and vessels throughout the body. The lower extremities are particularly vulnerable due to the fact that blood has to make its way against gravity back to the heart. In the legs, there are valves that control this upward flow. These valves are able to perform well under normal physiologic load because the veins dilate as they should. However, changes in structure occur under certain circumstances, such as aging, pregnancy, and routine leg positioning.
Poorly-functioning valves lead to chronically high pressure in the veins of the lower extremities and, before you know it, symptoms such as throbbing, aching, and fatigue have developed. These may seem like minor irritations, but there’s more.
Venous Insufficiency is a Health Concern
There are two perspectives that need to be understood when observing problematic veins: quality of life and general health. Many people who live with the chronic discomfort of superficial venous insufficiency note a decreased motivation to engage in physical activity. This only contributes to poor lifestyle habits that exacerbate the original issue. Quality of life is also affected by the appearance of varicose veins, which can cause significant self-consciousness and a sense of isolation.
From a health standpoint, one must understand that venous insufficiency is a progressive condition. Weak veins may leak fluid into surrounding tissues, causing discoloration and even ulcers. The intensity of pressure within a weak vein may be easily overwhelmed by a bump or a nick, resulting in profuse bleeding.
A Brighter Side
There is good news on the medical front for patients with venous insufficiency. In the past several years, numerous advances in vein treatment have occurred. The success rate for vein treatments resides around 90%, and complication rates remain low.
Learn more about the treatments available at Beverly Hills Vein Center. Call 310-277-4868.