Swollen Legs, Varicose Veins, or a Tight Feeling in Your Calves? It Could Be Venous Insufficiency

You’re certainly not alone if you’re more focused on what varicose veins look like than what they say about your vein health. And everyone has some leg swelling now and then, right? True. 

But what really matters is what’s causing the swelling, varicose veins, and other symptoms that may indicate venous insufficiency and what that might mean for your health.

The good news? Today’s minimally invasive treatments can relieve your cosmetic concerns related to venous insufficiency as well as the health complications this common condition can cause. 

Board-certified surgeon Michael Gioscia, MD, leads a stellar team of medical professionals at his busy practice, the Vein Institute of Westchester in White Plains, New York. He has almost three decades of experience in providing highly effective, minimally invasive treatments for conditions like venous insufficiency.

Dr. Gioscia is happy to provide insight regarding venous insufficiency and what it has to do with your vein health.

What is venous insufficiency?

In medical terms, “venous” describes anything related to the veins and “insufficiency” describes the inability of an organ to perform its normal function. Thus, venous insufficiency means your veins are not functioning like they should.

Your veins are the blood vessels that transport oxygen-depleted blood back to your heart for refueling. 

Venous insufficiency can occur in any vein but most often affects those in your legs. Your leg veins work harder than most because they must overcome gravity to move blood upward toward your heart.

What causes leg veins to malfunction?

Your leg veins contain tiny, flap-like valves that open and close regularly as oxygen-depleted blood moves through them. When functioning normally, the valves help prevent blood from flowing backward and pooling in the vein.

A malfunctioning valve, on the other hand, causes the blood to succumb to gravity and collect or pool in the affected vein. Vein walls can also stiffen and lose their elasticity, which interferes with the vein’s ability to move blood effectively.

These issues can all cause the symptoms related to venous insufficiency, which include:

Advancing venous insufficiency can also cause non-healing skin ulcerations or sores (venous stasis ulcers).

What conditions cause venous insufficiency?

Factors that can increase your risk of developing venous insufficiency include:

Women are more likely than men to develop venous insufficiency due to hormonal influences of progesterone.

How do you treat venous insufficiency?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Gioscia takes the time to fully evaluate your leg veins and devise the most effective treatment plan. 

Your therapy might include changes in diet, increased exercise, weight loss, and/or a choice of minimally invasive treatments designed to seal off all or part of a problematic vein. This isn't a one-fix-for-all practice. Dr. Gioscia has extensive experience in all possible solutions.

For treatment of venous insufficiency and the varicose veins it causes, schedule a visit with Dr. Gioscia at the Vein Institute of Westchester today.

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