Do you suffer from leg swelling, itching, pain, or restlessness? You could have venous insufficiency, a condition that affects some 40% of Americans. If undiagnosed and untreated, this condition can lead to serious complications.
At Hamptons Vein and Vascular with locations in Westfield and Rutherford, New Jersey, Dr. Rashmi Sharma can diagnose chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and create a treatment plan to correct the problem.
Venous insufficiency basics
Signs of venous insufficiency include swelling of the legs and ankles, heavy throbbing or aching in the legs, darkened scaly skin patches on the legs and ankles, and varicose veins. This can put you at risk of a blood clot, which can be life-threatening.
Venous insufficiency is caused when blood flow doesn’t remain strong through the entire circuit of the body. Blood flow is often compromised in leg veins when tiny valves in the veins stop working properly, slowing the flow of blood back to the heart and allowing it to pool.
Varicose veins are one of the early signs of venous insufficiency. If you’ve noticed ropy veins standing out from your legs, especially if accompanied by heat, redness, or soreness, you could have venous insufficiency.
Treating venous insufficiency
Dr. Sharmi can treat your CVI by treating varicose veins in your legs. She often uses a special ablation procedure called the Venefit™. A slender radiofrequency catheter is inserted into the vein, and pulses of radiofrequency energy make the vein collapse and seal shut.
Another option is liquid or foam sclerotherapy, which involves injections of a medication that collapses the vein. All of these treatments cause the vein to seal off, so the blood flow is directed elsewhere, into a nearby vein with healthy working valves. The damaged veins slowly break down, and the body flushes them out of your body by way of the lymphatic system.
If necessary, Dr. Sharmi can even remove the varicose veins directly using a minimally invasive procedure known as an ambulatory phlebectomy. She can seal off and remove the veins through tiny punctures and relieve your leg swelling.
Risks for CVI
You are at a higher risk for venous insufficiency if you are a woman (especially if you have had multiple pregnancies), if your family members have similar issues, if you work standing or sitting most of the time, or if you are obese or a smoker.
If you have varicose veins and think your leg swelling could be CVI, call one of our locations or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Sharmi today.