Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), or venous reflux disease, is a common vein disease that affects approximately 40 percent of people in the United States. It occurs due to malfunctioning valves in your veins. Typically, these valves prevent blood from flowing backward. However, when they malfunction, blood can pool in the veins.

How CVI Occurs?

Your heart and circulatory system work together to pump blood throughout the body and supply oxygen and nutrients to your brain and other vital organs. One heart pump has enough strength to deliver oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body. Once the blood has reached all organs and tissues, the veins carry the oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart and through the liver, kidney, and lungs, where it is cleaned and reoxygenated.

When the veins are not working correctly, blood doesn’t flow back to the heart as quickly as it should and may pool in the lower parts of the body. This condition that occurs when veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart is called chronic venous insufficiency. 

What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

  • Varicose veins, which are enlarged, swollen veins
  • Blood clots, which interfere with normal blood flow
  • Damage to valves in the vein allows blood to flow backward instead of progressing forward to the heart.
  • Weak leg muscles are unable to squeeze hard enough to get blood back to the heart

Prevention

You can reduce your risk of developing CVI by following these guidelines:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid wearing restrictive clothing such as tight girdles or belts.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing.

Like any disease, CVI is most treatable in its earliest stages. If you notice symptoms or have a family history of CVI, your best choice is to visit a vein specialist.

Visit the Center for Advanced Vein Care

Our board-certified doctors at the Center for Advanced Vein Care provide comprehensive care to prevent, diagnose, and treat vein conditions. Give us a call at (440) 710-1140 or fill out our online form to book your appointment.

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