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Vein Conditions

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

This term is used to describe the changes that occur in the skin and subcutaneous tissue in the lower legs as a result of long term untreated varicose veins. The skin, particularly in the lower leg above the inside of the ankle may develop changes of increased pigmentation, skin irritation, scarring and hardening of the layer of tissue beneath the skin. Eventually venous ulceration can occur with untreated venous disease. Only a small proportion of people with varicose veins progress to such skin changes. Risk factors for this progression include poor mobility, obesity, and history of deep vein thrombosis.

Assessment of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

A thorough medical history, examination and ultrasound scan of deep and superficial veins is necessary to adequately assess and guide the management of patients with CVI. Treatment  needs to be comprehensive in order to prevent the progression of skin and soft tissue changes. The medical history, particularly focussed on the history of venous disease , along with an accurate ultrasound examination will help to guide the most appropriate treatment. 

Management of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

The multifactorial nature of the development of CVI requires that all possibilities and risk factors be attended to for the best outcomes. Meticulous management of any varicose veins by the most appropriate methods, and attention to musculoskeletal issues is important, along with patient mobility and co-morbidities.

Often incompetent truncal veins contributing to CVI require treatment with Endovenous Laser treatment . Follow up treatments with Ultrasound guided Sclerotherapy, and the judicious use of Vein Glue may also be appropriate. Short or long term use of compression garments is likely to be included in the management of this condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, they will not respond to treatment as there will be ongoing pressure from the larger varicose veins.

No, if you wish to get rid of them,the surface veins will need additional treatment after the varicose veins are treated.

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