Veins from all over the body pumps back blood to the heart. Chronic venous insufficiency is a medical condition where veins, mainly in the lower part of a leg, are incapable of pumping blood back efficiently. This condition could also be due to plain absence of such veins. Men with leg injuries, pregnant women, tall humans, and humans of higher age group run a higher risk of falling into the CVI condition.
The condition mainly gets generated in the lower part of the leg. The perforating veins near the calf part of the leg fail to fulfil their role. Such incompetent perforating veins result in lack of enough blood transmission back to the heart. Another similar medical condition, Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency occurs when veins from the central nervous system fail to perform the objective of circulation of the blood. However CVI mainly deals with inefficiency or lack of veins in the legs.
Bologna, Italy witnessed a discussion over the condition in 2006 which resulted in heavy insistence of connecting such condition to genetic and embryonic problems.
The symptoms relate mainly to legs and ankles. Pain in the legs which worsens when sitting/standing and betters when raised is one of the main symptoms. Aching, cramps, swelling, rashes, and reddening of legs and ankles also suggest/confirm the existence of CVI condition. Superficial veins on the skin surface of the leg also points towards the possibility of the CVI’s existence.
Tests and Diagnosis
The above discussed causes along with other specific conditions of the person could lead to a realistic primary diagnosis of CVI. These specific conditions include: obesity, pregnancy, high age groups, tall humans, genetic and a lifestyle of prolonged sitting or standing.
The treatment to the condition can be bifurcated into three major streams: Conservative therapies, surgical method, and the FDS approved Maggot debridement. Conservative therapies include measures like use of compression pumps, compression stockings, lymphatic massage therapy, and medicines that deal with blood pressure. Surgical methods include Linton procedures, Varicose Vein Stripping, and Sub-fascial Endoscopic Perforator Vein surgery. However surgical methods are referred to only in case of refractory ulcer and other such direct discomforts. New surgical methods are being experimented which revolve around valve repair and valve transposition but are yet to be put into practice.
The FDA approved Maggot debridement has been long ignored by the medical faculty but is supposed to be an effective way of curbing CVI although not the most sophisticated one (due to its creepy procedure involving leeches).
Life style changes
CVI can be managed, if not cured, by simple life style changes. Taking care to help blood circulation by elevating legs every few minutes, avoiding long hours of sitting/standing at one place, wearing comfortable stockings (and avoiding tight ones), keeping the legs clean, moisturised, and open to fresh air every now and then are a few changes in life style to keep the discomfort to minimum.
To understand the causes of CVI better, let us first understand the function of blood circulation in our body. Heart pumps blood to various muscles of our body. The oxygen lacking blood then returns back to the heart so as to be rejuvenated to be pumped back into the muscles. Veins play the role of assisting the return of impure blood back. Based on the anatomy of human body, the veins in the lower part of the body, especially legs, become more important as their failure/absence would result in complete failure of the blood circulation system. Failure of such veins can be pinpointed to various reasons such as blockage (called as Stasis), damage or plain absence of such veins. Calf muscles hold up considerable blood and their health is another key to avoiding CVI.