How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency diagnosed?
The first step in diagnosis is the observation of atypical appearing veins, i.e., dilated veins; alteration in skin color or texture of the legs, ankles or feet; or symptoms of pain, cramping or swelling. A history of thrombophlebitis or injury to the legs may also provide a clue as to the presence of CVI. The presence of CVI may be confirmed with a non-invasive test known as Duplex Ultrasound (DUS). This procedure uses sound waves to observe not only the appearance of veins but the blood flow within them to determine any abnormalities that may be present. It is performed by a trained and licensed Technologist.
How is Chronic Venous Insufficiency treated?
Treatment will depend upon the specific veins that are found to be insufficient or non-functioning. For visible Spider Veins or Varicose Veins, Sclerotherapy is usually the treatment of choice for their removal. For very large Varicose Veins, Phlebectomy is used for their removal. When the Saphenous Veins (Great Saphenous or Small Saphenous Veins) are discovered by DUS to be insufficient to a significant extent, Endovenous Ablation is the preferred method for their removal. Endovenous Ablation is a safer, less invasive alternative to a procedure that is known as Vein Stripping & Ligation, which is now rarely performed.
In addition to the above procedures, the use of gradient compression hosiery is always beneficial to those with CVI. Sometimes there are insufficient veins that are not accessible to treatment with any of the above procedures or involve the deep veins, which cannot be removed or repaired. In those circumstances, the regular use of gradient compression hosiery is vital to optimize venous function in the lower extremities.