Can Venous Insufficiency be Reversed?

healthy vein

Can Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) be reversed?

Unfortunately the short answer to this question is no; but CVI can be treated with minimally invasive procedures which can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life tremendously!

Chronic Vein Insufficiency Causes

In order to understand why venous insufficiency or peripheral venous insufficiency cannot be reversed, we must look at what causes venous disease. The most prevalent cause of venous insufficiency is genetics. A family history of vein disease is the biggest predictor of whether or not most people will develop vein problems. If a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle has or had problems with veins, it is likely that the reason you have developed them is purely genetic. Currently in medical research, there is no way to prevent this trait from being passed down the family tree.

Another venous insufficiency cause is hormones. Particularly in women, any shift in hormones; normal menstrual cycle, hormonal birth control, hormone replacement, menopause, and a combination of factors in pregnancy; cause the valves and walls of superficial veins to become weak. It is the weakness of these vein structures that cause the symptoms associated with venous insufficiency including: leg fatigue, leg heaviness, leg swelling, nighttime leg cramps, leg pain, restlessness of your legs, vein itching, itchy legs, prominent varicose veins, and spider veins.

Trauma is another cause of venous insufficiency. Although only a few cases of venous insufficiency can be linked to trauma alone, it is quite possible that a traumatic injury to the leg can cause enough damage that would affect the venous system.

Research has suggested that other health conditions may contribute to the weakening of the venous system including; lower extremity lymphedema, diabetes, obesity, smoking, hypertension, and arterial disease. However, direct correlations among these factors are still being researched, and current studies reveal conflicting results.

Regardless of which of the above venous insufficiency causes directly contribute to your specific venous condition, once the superficial veins are insufficient (weak); similar to a stretched out rubber band, there is not a way for these veins to regain their elasticity. It is the loss of elasticity or compliance that causes symptoms. These peripheral venous insufficiency symptoms become worse as time progresses and can be aggravated by things such as standing in one place (working as a hairstylist, teacher, cashier) and sitting for long periods of time (driving, desk jobs, flying in a plane). At night leg restlessness and leg cramping can wake people from sleep or make it difficult to fall asleep. Summertime heat can aggravate symptoms as it causes veins to become dilated and weaker.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatment

Although there is no cure for venous insufficiency or venous disease, symptoms can be helped with compression stockings, exercise, cooler weather, leg elevation, and some homeopathic regimens. When these conservative methods no longer help, straight forward, minimally invasive procedures exist to alleviate the discomfort associated with venous insufficiency. These modern techniques cause little pain and fast recovery for the sufferer.

If you are experiencing leg fatigue, heaviness, swelling, night cramps, pain, restlessness, itching, prominent varicose or spider veins, have your legs evaluated by our qualified Vein Specialist to discuss appropriate treatment options for your specific case.

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About Jilanne Rose, DNP ANP-BC

Jilanne is Phoenix Metros only Doctorate Nurse Practitioner that has been trained extensively by a Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon, an Interventional Radiologist, and an Interventional Cardiologist. Dr. Rose is highly regarded by patients and physicians who seek her out because of her expertise in vein disease, her commitment to compassionate care, and her excellent success rates. As a peripheral vascular specialist that has performed well over 10,000 vascular interventions, Dr. Rose is dedicated to helping patients achieve a pain free, healthy and happy life.