Venous Disease Overview
In venous disease, the internal walls of veins in the leg are deteriorated and the small valves that prevent backflow are defective and useless. This causes the blood to flow in reverse towards the foot, known as reflux. As a result, deep veins must carry more blood towards the heart; therefore, the veins must expand and the valves will likely not close properly. At this point, blood is no longer pumped effectively through the lower leg, causing pressure and a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency (C.V.I). C.V.I. may result in swelling, changes in the skin, or ulcerations. Varicose veins – a condition in which superficial veins become knotted and swollen – are also a type of venous disease, or disorder.
Venous diseases vary in severity and symptoms, but might include: swelling, leg pain or cramps, heaviness in the legs, skin discoloration, dermatitis, leg ulcer and eczema.