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Today in Health & Wellness

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Other Names: Chronic venous stasis, chronic venous disease

Chronic Venous Insufficiency or CVI is a condition wherein the one-way valves and/or the walls of the veins in the legs are damaged or weakened and is unable to efficiently move blood towards the heart. Valve damage may be due to aging, reduced mobility or long durations of standing or sitting. This results to the collection of blood in the veins or stasis which results in the swelling of legs.

CVI is most commonly due to Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT which is a result of a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs.


  • Painful varicose veins with no pain relief with use of compression stockings or elevation of legs
  • Swelling of legs
  • Aching and heaviness in legs
  • Redness and sores in legs and ankles
  • Pain in legs that increase when standing
  • Thickening and hardening of the skin on the legs and ankles
  • Itching, tingling, and flaking of skin in legs or feet
  • Slow healing of wounds in legs or ankles
  • Stasis ulcers (or venous stasis ulcers)
Risk Factors
  • People 50 years and older
  • Women
  • History of Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Extended periods of standing or sitting
  • Pregnancy
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Cigarette smoking
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Anti-blood clotting drugs
  • Herbal dietary products containing horse chestnut extract
Treatment and Management
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time, flex your feet a few times every 30 minutes, and elevate your legs (with legs positioned higher than the heart) to help keep the blood flowing in your legs.
  • Wear compressions stockings to reduce swelling
  • Antibiotics for open sores or infections
  • Practice good skin hygiene especially if there are sores on legs and ankles
  • Keep skin moisturized to avoid flaking of skin

For severe CVI, the physician may recommend the following (see also Varicose Veins):

  • Sclerotherapy - veins are made to harden and disappear by injecting saline water or equivalents solution into the veins
  • Endovenous thermal ablation - the veins are closed off and destroyed thru heat
  • Ligation and vein stripping - surgery involving removal of problem veins thru incisions made in the leg
  • Vein bypass - surgery involving rerouting the blood flow around a damaged vein using a tube or blood vessel taken from the body and positioned to bypass the blocked vein
  • Valve repair
  • Angioplasty and stenting
Home Remedies
Lifestyle Modifications
  • Do not smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight if obese
  • Refrain from standing or sitting for long periods
  • Refrain from wearing tight clothing
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Doctors to Consult
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