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Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

by | Jul 21, 2023

If you’re experiencing symptoms of varicose veins or suspect you might have chronic venous insufficiency (leaky veins), it’s essential to visit a varicose veins specialist like Dr. Manish Taneja for proper evaluation and personalized treatment to prevent potential complications and improve your overall vascular well-being.

Legs of woman resting on green grass on a sunny day

Introduction to Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Living with varicose veins doesn’t have to come with pain or many issues. If you start to notice new symptoms over time, it may be time to see a specialist and see if you have developed chronic venous insufficiency.

 

What are Varicose Veins? 

Also known as spider veins, varicose veins are twisted veins that develop throughout the body, mainly in the legs. These are simply not a cosmetic issue. Varicose veins and venous reflux disease can lead to significant physical problems and will swell more prominent than the other leg veins. These veins are visible, however, when wearing short clothing.

What do varicose veins include? Understand the symptoms of varicose veins, different types, causes, and more with our helpful blog post and video on varicose veins. It may involve several factors such as family history, hormone levels, and high blood pressure to develop varicose veins. Don’t let these blood clots last long term and become complications of varicose veins.

Twisting the veins can lead to some conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency in the legs. If left untreated, this disease can cause significant discomfort and other issues.

 

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?

Are your veins leaking? When the veins in the legs do not allow the appropriate blood flow to your heart, chronic venous insufficiency or CVI can develop. In CVI, the blood may not reach the heart and will start to reverse through the veins, pooling within the legs. This will cause excessive swelling and cramps because the blood circulation is not happening correctly.

CVI has several stages that shift as it progresses.

Stage 0: No pain or visible signs of the veins, just fatigue

Stage 1: Development of spider or varicose veins

Stage 2: Fuller varicose veins traveling further throughout the leg

Stage 3: Swelling developing but no changes to the skin

Stage 4: Varicose veins, steady swelling, and darker patches of skin

Stage 5: Ulcers developing

Stage 6: All the above plus active ulcers with constant pain and swelling

If someone has CVI and doesn’t treat it properly, it can make your daily life very painful and reduce your quality of life. This means that doing things you enjoy will start to be sad or non-existent due to walking being very painful and only manageable in small amounts.

 

Causes of CVI

If someone is diagnosed with CVI, it is usually one of the reasons below or an accumulation of them.

  • Obesity and being overweight
  • Pregnancy where there has been a sudden weight gain
  • Genetics and family history
  • Former leg injuries and known blood clots
  • Smoking
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle

These causes are usually pretty similar in those who are diagnosed with CVI. These patients do not develop CVI immediately because of these causes, but having these lifestyles and experiences for a prolonged period allows the CVI to create.

 

CVI Symptoms

Before someone is diagnosed with CVI, they usually experience an array of symptoms that lets them know something is happening and it is time to seek medical treatment. These symptoms often consist of the following:

These symptoms are not unique to CVI, so patients may think they are experiencing other things. The more of these symptoms someone experiences at once means, there is a higher chance of experiencing CVI.

 

CVI Risk Factors

Those who suffer from sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and other underlying health conditions have a higher risk of developing CVI. There are also other risk factors to keep in mind.

Some risk factors make CVI more of a reality for others, such as being born female, being over 50, or both. Those who have suffered severe leg injuries as an athlete or in an accident earlier in life could have developed injuries to their veins, which allowed CVI to develop. Also, other vein conditions such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis are higher risk factors for developing CVI.

 

Getting a CVI Diagnosis

To get a CVI diagnosis, you must visit a vascular specialist who understands the difference in the symptoms above and can determine if you are experiencing CVI or something else.

 

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatments

CVI treatment aims to improve the blood flow in your legs. When you see a vascular specialist for your condition, they will offer several treatments that you can do periodically to help improve the veins in your legs and improve the blood flow. However, the treatment can vary depending on the stage of the CVI.

    Long Term Effects of Untreated Varicose Veins

    Ignoring any potential health concerns, such as your varicose veins, can lead to serious long-term consequences. 

    Complications of Untreated Varicose Veins

    Neglecting Treatment for Varicose Veins Can Have Impacts On Your Quality of Life

    The long-term effects of varicose veins can vary according to severity but include complications such as:

    • Pain and discomfort: Untreated varicose veins can cause pain and discomfort that may limit your activities.
    • Swelling in the legs: The increased pressure within the veins can lead to edema resulting in swelling and discomfort.
    • Risk of infection: Scratching the skin around varicose veins can potentially lead to infections that might be difficult to treat.
    • Blood clot formation (thrombosis): Clots forming within the veins pose a risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which could potentially lead to embolism if a clot dislodges and travels to the lungs.
    • Thrombophlebitis: This is a condition characterized by inflammation in the veins, which can cause discomfort such as pain, swelling and redness. As the skin around the veins becomes thinner over time, there is a possibility of experiencing bleeding due to increased vulnerability to injuries.
    • Ulcers: Chronic venous ulcers can result in unhealed wounds increasing the risk of infection. Itchy and inflamed skin can progress into dermatitis or eczema causing discomfort and irritation.
    • Lipodermatosclerosis: This is a condition where the skin hardens and changes color resembling leather in appearance.

     

    When to See a Vascular Specialist 

    If you have experienced some of the symptoms above regularly or have a family history of varicose veins, it may be time to see a vascular specialist. At Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, we will help diagnose your condition and establish you with the appropriate treatment options.

    Contact us today to schedule your appointment and meet with our varicose veins specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja.

    Consult a Vascular Specialist for Your Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

    Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and varicose veins specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all vascular interventions and looks after venous diseases like varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins. Come in for a further evaluation and arrange your appointment today.

     

    Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

    Varicose Veins Resources

    Explore our varicose veins and spider veins resources for patients. Gain insight into the diagnosis and treatment of varicose and spider veins conditions, their underlying causes, symptoms, and complications. Connect with your vascular health.

    Keep Varicose Veins and Spider Veins at Bay

    If your legs feel sore persistently, achy when standing long periods, or maybe you notice blue or purple veins even bulging in the area, chances are these symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins could lead to other serious venous diseases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), or Leg Swelling due to increased pressure forming larger blood clots over time. Varicose veins are fully treatable with minimally invasive procedures and treatments offering minimal downtime and quick recovery preventing further complications. Long term effects of untreated varicose veins can hinder your daily life and impact your health.

    The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore is here to diagnose and treat varicose veins smoothening patients’ experience to find relief and comfort. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist based in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja looks after a spectrum of venous diseases, peripheral vascular malformations, and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

    Other Health Conditions

    The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our varicose veins specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.