Treatments & Procedures

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Do I have Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Chronic venous insufficiency is characterized by leg skin discoloration, leg or ankle swelling and sometimes skin ulcerations or sores. Varicose veins, which are enlarged and tortuous vessels, can progress to chronic venous insufficiency if left untreated.

Depiction of venous insufficiency in Minneapolis.

Commonly associated conditions include:

  • Venous stasis dermatitis – brownish discoloration of the skin particularly in the lower leg.
  • Lipodermatosclerosis – characterized by an inverted “coke-bottle” deformity in the lower leg.
  • Venous ulceration – sores on the legs, but most commonly over the ankles.

Who develops chronic venous insufficiency?

Patients with longstanding untreated varicose veins may progress to develop chronic venous insufficiency.

How is chronic venous insufficiency diagnosed?

Chronic venous insufficiency is easily recognized by an experienced vein specialist. However, additional testing, usually with ultrasound examination, may be needed to document vein valve damage, and to exclude other conditions.

How is chronic venous insufficiency treated?

As in the treatment of varicose veins, a thorough diagnostic evaluation is performed. Multiple modalities may be needed, including stenting (to open blockages), endovenous laser ablation (to close veins), ambulatory microphlebectomy (to remove large surface veins), and ultrasound-guided chemical ablation. In addition, chronic compression stockings use may be recommended.