Venous Insufficiency Specialist

Metroview Vascular & Surgical

Augustine Eze, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Vascular Surgeon & General and Vascular Surgery located in Charlotte, NC & Gastonia, NC

It’s easy to take the blood flow in your legs for granted, but the veins in them work very hard to carry your blood back to your heart against the forces of gravity. If your veins can’t carry your blood back up to your heart sufficiently, vascular surgeon Augustine Eze, MD, FACS, and his team at Metroview Vascular & Surgical, at their two locations in Charlotte and Gastonia, North Carolina, can treat you for venous insufficiency with surgical or nonsurgical strategies. To find out if you have venous insufficiency, call Metroview Vascular & Surgical or book an appointment online today.

Venous Insufficiency Q&A


What is venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is a condition that happens when your veins can’t adequately return blood to your heart after your arteries deliver it throughout your body. If you have venous insufficiency, your veins have a particularly hard time sending blood back through your legs. This is because they must work against gravity and carry blood upwards toward your heart. 

Several occurrences can lead to venous insufficiency. If you have a blood clot somewhere in a vein, it can inhibit blood from flowing freely through it. Additionally, the valves in your veins that allow for upward flow can become weak or damaged, causing blood to flow backward and pool to form varicose veins. Varicose veins are thick, twisted veins you can see on your skin’s surface that typically form on your legs. 

Women are more likely to have venous insufficiency than men, but anyone can develop the condition. At Metroview Vascular & Surgical, Dr. Eze can assess your symptoms and determine the cause of your insufficiency before selecting a treatment for you. 

What are the symptoms of venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency comes with a range of symptoms. Your symptoms depend on the cause and severity of your condition, and might include:

 

  • Edema (leg and ankle swelling)
  • Cramps
  • Itching
  • Muscle weakness
  • Leg ulcers
  • Varicose veins
  • Legs that feel heavy
  • Muscle tightness in your calves
  • Thick skin on your legs and ankles
  • Skin that changes color on your legs and ankles

 

Your symptoms and medical history alone might not be enough to diagnose venous insufficiency. To be certain, Dr. Eze might order one of two imaging tests: a venogram or a duplex ultrasound.

During a venogram, Dr. Eze injects a contrast dye into your veins and views them with an X-ray. During a duplex ultrasound, he uses an ultrasound transducer to send sound waves through your legs. The sound waves bounce off structures within your legs and send a real-time image back to a screen that shows blood flow. 

How is venous insufficiency treated?

Dr. Eze decides which treatment strategy to use based on how severe your venous insufficiency is. The most common and perhaps the most straightforward treatment for venous insufficiency is compression stockings. They fit snugly to apply pressure to your lower leg and encourage upward blood flow. 

Similarly, you can promote blood flow by keeping your legs elevated while at rest and exercising regularly to the best of your ability. 

Other treatments Dr. Eze might recommend for venous insufficiency include:

 

  • Diuretic medications
  • Anticoagulant medications (blood-thinners)
  • Surgical vein or valve repair
  • Vein removal
  • Laser vein surgery to close the vein

 

In severe cases, Dr. Eze might recommend sclerotherapy. During sclerotherapy, he injects the vein with a chemical solution causing it to close off. Eventually, your body absorbs the now-unusable vein. 

For more information about venous insufficiency and available treatments, call Metroview Vascular & Surgical or use the online booking tool today.