Venous Insufficiency: A Circulatory Issue

Venous insufficiency is a condition that prevents the veins from doing their job which is to carry blood back to the heart. It is more prevalent in women. When the veins can’t do their job, the blood pools in the legs veins. The condition is commonly caused by blood clots and varicose veins but sometimes leg muscle weakness or injury can trigger the problem. There are some precautions individuals can take to avoid the condition, and treatment is available.

Causes of Venous Insufficiency

Blood clots stop the flow of blood and it pools in the veins. Because the valves in the veins are diminished or broken, the blood is not pushed toward the heart. Blocking or stagnating blood causes poor circulation or venous insufficiency.

  • Obesity and smoking are lifestyle choices that can cause venous insufficiency. If a member of your family suffers from the condition, you should monitor your weight carefully and avoid smoking.
  • Individuals whose jobs require standing for long periods of time are candidates for circulatory issues.
  • Weight gain associated with pregnancy can cause vein problems.
  • Poor circulation may indicate a form of cancer is present.
  • Phlebitis can be a precursor to venous insufficiency.

Symptoms of the Condition

  • Swelling of the legs / ankles
  • Pain / leg cramps
  • Aching / throbbing legs / ankles
  • Weakness, tightness, or heavy feeling in the legs
  • Leg Ulcers
  • Thickening of the skin around the legs / ankles
  • Varicose veins
  • Redness or purple hue around the legs / ankles

Diagnosing the Problem

Dr. Tilara at Atlanta Vascular and Vein will check your medical records carefully and conduct a complete physical examination. There are tests such a venogram which can be done to determine whether you have venous insufficiency. A duplex ultrasound is used in some cases to test the speed and direction of blood flow. Ultrasound is a non-invasive test that allows Dr. Tilara to see images of your blood flow on a computer screen. These tests and others allow Dr. Tilara to diagnose and propose treatment for your condition. At Atlanta Vascular & Vein Centers, only cutting-edge tests and treatments are offered to patients.

The Treatment Plan

To recommend the best treatment, Dr. Tilara uses your health history and your current condition to make recommendations.

  • Compression socks are helpful and improve the blood flow. They also discourage leg swelling.
  • Some cases require surgical or laser treatment either repair or removal of damaged veins.
  • Endoscopic Surgery can be used to tie off veins
  • A transplant or vein bypass can be moved from another location in the body.

Dr. Tilara will recommend several common-sense strategies to help improve your blood flow and reduce swelling:

  • Elevate your legs as often as possible
  • Wear compression socks
  • When seated, do not cross your legs
  • Exercise several times a week


There are a number of medications that have proven helpful when it comes to poor circulation:

  • Diuretics to help release excess fluid
  • Blood thinners to increase blood flow

Related Surgery

  • Ambulatory phlebectomy-outpatient surgery to removing small varicose veins.
  • Sclerotherapy-chemical injection used to detroy small to medium veins
  • Catheter-a thin tub inserted into the vein which is heated and causes the vein to seal