Chronic Venous Insufficiency

This condition happens when the valves inside the main veins “superficial or deep” become diseased or malfunctioning. They let the blood back up and pool in the veins of the lower extremity due to the effect of gravity. This condition is called venous reflux. It leads to enlargement of the veins of all sizes, and increase the pressure inside these veins. Excessive leakage of fluids (with blood components) into the tissues occurs. This leakage will exceed the amount of fluid re-absorbed to the circulation. The resulting condition of swelling in the legs and ankles becomes chronic and affects the color and health of the skin and tissues underneath. Nutrition and oxygen delivery to the skin becomes defective leading to complications. Venous ulcers may form and excessive swelling (edema) will interfere with the return of tissue fluid to the veins or lymph vessels. This results in a condition called venous lymphedema (different from the primary lymphedema which may occur due to defects in the lymphatic system itself).

List of complications:

  • Staining, hyperpigmentation and discoloration
  • Eczema, rash causing leaking from skin, and itching
  • Chronic swelling, hardening of the skin (sclerosis) and underlying tissues
  • Dermatitis; inflammation, redness or purplish coloration
  • Ulcers of varying size and shape

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(early dermatitis)

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(venous lymphedema)

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(venous stasis ulcer)

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