What is the treatment for chronic venous insufficiency?
Specific treatment will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Your signs and symptoms
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Chronic venous insufficiency treatment may include:
Measures to improve blood flow in the leg veins. Methods to help increase blood flow in the leg veins include elevating the legs to reduce pressure in the leg veins and compression stockings to apply pressure on the legs and help blood flow. Other methods include keeping the legs uncrossed when sitting and regular exercise.
Medications. Diuretics (medications used to draw excess fluid from the body through the kidneys) should typically not be used unless there are other separate conditions such as heart failure or kidney disease that are also contributing to the swelling. Medications that improve the flow of blood through the vessels may be used in combination with compression therapy to help heal leg ulcers. Aspirin can also be used to help ulcers heal.
Sclerotherapy. For patients whose condition is more advanced, sclerotherapy may be prescribed. This involves injecting a chemical into the affected veins. The chemical causes scarring in the veins so that they can no longer carry blood. Blood then returns to the heart through other veins and the body absorbs the scarred veins.
Surgery. Surgery is recommended in fewer than 10% of people with chronic venous insufficiency. Surgical procedures that may be used to treat the condition include:
Ligation. This procedure involves tying off an affected vein so that blood no longer flows through it. If the vein and/or its valves are heavily damaged, the vein will be removed ("vein stripping").
Surgical repair. A vein and/or valves may be surgically repaired, either through an open incision or with the use of a long catheter (hollow tube).
Vein transplant. This involves transplanting a healthy vein from another body area and replacing the diseased vein with the healthy vein.
Subfascial endoscopic perforator surgery. A minimally-invasive procedure performed with an endoscope (a small, flexible tube with a light and a lens on the end). The perforator veins (veins found in the calf area) are clipped and tied off. This allows blood to drain into healthy veins and improves ulcer healing.