Our circulatory system keeps our body and its tissues healthy, but when that system goes awry, we develop a series of diseases, including vein disease and all its symptoms. Based on the latest scientific data, vein disease in the U.S. is underdiagnosed and undertreated, and it affects more than 40 million Americans. Unfortunately, less than one-half of one percent of Americans seek treatment and fewer than half a million ever receive treatment for vein disease.
Venous circulation in legs is a very important part of our overall daily health and can become a problem when vein reflux affects circulation. Vein reflux is a medical condition where leg veins are unable to properly transport blood back up to the hears. Medically, this is known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Typically, CVI is associated with the development of spider veins or varicose veins in the legs. When CVI is not treated properly, it will lead to more serious consequences, such as ulcers, spontaneous bleeding, and life-threatening deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Here’s some perspective, chronic venous insufficiency is twice as prevalent as coronary heart disease (America’s #1 killer), and five times more common than peripheral artery disease.
The short answer is malfunctioning valves inside the veins. When blood circulates inside the body, the heart pumps blood down the leg. To get the blood back up to the heart, however, the body relies on a combination of valves and muscle contractions to push blood upward. Healthy valves within the veins act as backflow prevention device in the legs to keep the blood from flowing backward and pooling in the legs. Faulty veins don’t close completely, resulting in varicose veins, swelling, heaviness, itching, and a whole host of other life-changing symptoms.
Most likely, if you have any of these high-risk factors – a family history, obesity, prolonged sitting or standing, multiple pregnancies, you’re older than 40 and/or you smoke or once did. Women are affected with vein disease more than men; however, men don’t escape this dangerous disease.
More common symptoms that develop over time include pain, heaviness, fatigue, aching, itching, restless legs, burning, and cramping. Physical findings are large areas of spider veins, varicose veins, leg swelling, discoloration, skin thickening, and ulcers.
Luckily, treatment is in your favor. FDA-approved, minimally invasive treatments have a 99% success rate with far less risk and fewer side effects when compared to the now-antiquated vein stripping techniques of the past. At Florida Lakes Vein Center, all treatments are performed in the office. There is no downtime, and normal activities can be resumed as soon as you leave our office.