Venous insufficiency is a problem with the flow of blood from the veins of the legs back to the heart. It’s also called chronic venous insufficiency or chronic venous stasis.
Veins have valves that keep the blood moving in one direction-toward the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves in the veins of the leg don’t work right. So blood pools in the legs. This can lead to problems that include varicose veins.
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Your doctor can diagnose venous insufficiency by examining your legs and by using a type of ultrasound test (duplex Doppler) to find out how well blood is flowing in your legs.
How is it treated?
You can wear compression stockings, which are tighter at the ankles than at the top of the legs, to reduce swelling and to relieve pain. They also can help venous skin ulcers heal. You can buy the stockings with or without a prescription.
You also can try to:
Get more exercise, especially walking. It can increase blood flow.
Avoid standing or sitting for a long time, which can make the blood pool in your legs.
Keep your legs raised above your heart when you’re lying down. This reduces swelling.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 25, 2011
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