• Premier Vein was the 1st provider to offer minimally invasive vein treatment in Alaska. 30+ years combined doctor experience and on-site diagnostic testing with fellowship-trained radiologists.

    The job of the veins in our legs is to return blood back to the heart, this job is accomplished by a series of one-way “check” valves that keep blood from flowing backward. If these valves malfunction this results in a condition called Venous Insufficiency.
  • Next: Causes

What causes venous insufficiency?

Malfunctioning, or leaky valves allow increased pressure to build up in our legs due to the back flow of blood. The valves become weak or fail and some of the blood may go back down into the legs causing blood to pool or collect in the blood vessels. They become enlarged (varicose) or dilated over time causing pain, swelling or skin discoloration. Complications may lead to open sores on your legs called ulcers.Varicose veins are superficial blood vessels that become enlarged and twisted. Any vein in the body may become varicose, but the condition most often occurs in the veins of the legs. Varicose veins differ from spider veins—the very small bluish and/or purple veins that are close to the skin and appear on the legs and/or face. Spider veins generally do not cause pain and are more of a cosmetic concern.Varicose veins are not considered a serious health problem, but they can be uncomfortable and can lead to more serious problems. Because the veins can become very noticeable, they may cause people to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.Spider veins, a milder type of varicose veins, are smaller and often look like a sunburst or "spider web." They are red or blue in color and are often found on the face and legs, just under the skin.

More About Venous InsufficiencyNext: Symptoms

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Many times symptoms develop slowly over time and are often perceived as an unavoidable part of the aging process. Other medical problems such as orthopedic conditions, heart disease, kidney disease and arthritis can have similar symptoms, further complicating the diagnosis.
  • Venous Insufficiency Causes & Symptoms:

  • - Swelling or heaviness and fatigue, especially in the lower leg and ankle - Spasms, cramping, and aching in the legs at night - Itching, burning of the skin - Painful Varicose veins - twisted, enlarged veins close to the skin surface - Ugly/unpleasant appearance - Skin discoloration – dark red, purple or blue colors at the surface - Thick Leather-like skin *A person can have none, one or all of these symptoms
  • Next: Risk Factors

How is Venous Insufficiency evaluated?

During your FREE consultation at our clinic, our Nurse Practitioner Renee Buchta will perform a physical exam, review your symptoms and medical history, and develop an individualized testing and vein treatment plan to fit your needs. Depending on your symptoms and physical exam Renee may order a noninvasive test called a venous ultrasound with reflux. This test uses sonography to see check the valves in your veins to see if they are functioning normally. The ultrasound will also evaluate your veins for blood clots.

Treatments for Venous Insufficiency

Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. Lifestyle changes may help prevent varicose veins from forming. These changes include:
• Elevating legs while sitting or sleeping • Wearing compression stockings or dressings • Avoiding standing for extended periods • Losing weight • Exercising to improve leg strength • Maintaining a healthy blood pressure