Veins have valves to promote sufficient blood return from the lower extremities to the heart. However, when veins in the lower extremities don’t function properly, the blood flows backwards (reflux) and can pool in our legs, ankles and feet. Over time and left untreated, this condition (also called chronic venous insufficiency) can cause spider and varicose veins, swelling, aching, leg cramps, discoloration, restlessness and can lead to venous hypertention. On the mild side, this condition causes veins on the surface that are cosmetic but harmless. On the serious side, it can lead to disability and venous hypertension. Both sexes can be affected by this condition, but women appear to more affected than men. It can also have genetic implications. Gravity, standing on your feet for long periods of time and sedentary lifestyles can exacerbate the conditions. It is a global problem with serious health and economic implications. Approx. 10% of the population or roughly 40 million Americans are reported to have some form of venous reflux disease.
Old treatment of venous reflux disease often involved surgery and saphenous vein “stripping.” With the advent of lasers and imaging technology to measure valve function, newer treatments are often non-invasive and employ thermal energy or injections. Conservative treatments involve compression stockings and lifestyle changes (weight loss, feet elevation, increasing movement). Newer and promising treatments on the horizon include genetic links (Restless Leg Syndrome) and nutraceuticals.
In this segment, Dr. Darelll Caudill, a board certified cardiovascular surgeon and Medical Director of VeinInnovations and his team will discuss the venous reflux disease spectrum, diagnosis, signs and symptoms and treatments. Listeners can visit: www.veininnovations.com, www.rls.org and www.phlebology.com for more information.
Darrell Caudill, MD, FACS
David Martin, CRNFA
Frank Ferrier, MD, FACS
Alexander Park, MD, FACS
David Park, MD, FACS