21, 5, 2020

Leaky Vein Valve Disease and Varicose Veins


Venous reflux disease refers to ‘leaky valves in the veins of the legs. Reflux may occur in the deep and/or superficial leg veins. The deep veins are those within the muscle; they bring at least 80-90% of the blood from the legs back to the heart. The superficial veins are outside of the muscle and under the skin. The main superficial veins are the Great Saphenous Vein that courses up the middle of the thigh and calf and the small saphenous vein, which courses up the back of the calf. Normally, there are one-way valves within the leg veins, which help blood flow in one direction: toward the heart. This means blood is traveling against gravity. The calf muscle also helps move blood toward the heart. When vein valves are leaky, blood flows backward (reflux) towards the feet. Blood pools in the lower legs, causing bulging veins at the surface. Symptoms include leg heaviness, leg fatigue, leg pain, ankle swelling, phlebitis (inflamed and painful veins) restless legs at night, and night cramps. Venous reflux disease is progressive and worsens over time. Skin changes may also develop, including darkening of the skin around the ankles. The darkening of the skin is sometimes referred to as venous stasis skin changes. The skin can become dry and itchy (venous eczema). Eventually, the skin can break down causing a wound, called a venous leg ulcer.

Leaky Vein Valve Disease and Varicose Veins

Leaky Vein Valve Disease and Varicose Veins2021-11-05T10:56:55-07:00

27, 4, 2020

Vein Valves Don’t Work in Venous Reflux Disease


Vein valves and the direction of blood flow can be seen on ultrasound. Ultrasound is an important tool in the diagnosis of venous reflux disease.

Humen Circulatory System

In the circulatory system, the veins carry de-oxygenated blood back to the heart. The leg veins carry blood toward the heart, against gravity. Therefore, the leg veins have one-way valves the prevent backflow of blood. When the valves do not function properly, they allow blood to flow backward, causing the pooling of blood. This is referred to as venous reflux or venous insufficiency. Eventually, the backflow of the blood will cause varicose veins to develop and symptoms related to the increased pressure in the leg veins such as leg heaviness, aching, swelling, restless legs, night cramps, throbbing, and pain.

Vein Valves Don’t Work in Venous Reflux Disease2021-11-15T13:17:51-08:00

What Your Ankles Say About Your Health


5 signs of venous reflux disease were found on the ankles

venous reflux disease were found on the ankles

Venous reflux disease refers to ‘leaky valves in the leg veins. It is also referred to as venous insufficiency. When the one-way valves that help blood in the veins flow from the feet to the heart, no longer work properly, blood begins to pool around the ankles. Over time, the pooling of blood causes increased hydrostatic pressure within the blood vessels. This is referred to as venous hypertension in the medical community. Venous hypertension is associated with chronic venous insufficiency, which means the vein valves have become leaky for a long time before physical signs are apparent. An ultrasound examination can first identify if the underlying veins are weak and leaky not visible to the naked eye, long before physical signs become apparent. Some signs you may see that may indicate underlying venous reflux disease include:

chronic venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease

Darkening of skin, and itchiness are a sign of chronic venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease

  1. Skin darkening around the ankle (hyperpigmentation). This is also referred to as venous stasis. This is a result of long-standing venous reflux or pooling of blood.
  2. Itchy, scaly skin around the ankles. This is referred to as venous eczema. This skin becomes itchy and scaly from chronic inflammation.
  3. spider veins in the inner ankle. These are commonly associated with venous reflux in the great saphenous vein. The great saphenous vein courses the ankle all the way to the groin. When blood pools from thigh upper thigh all the way to the ankle, small spider veins may appear in the ankle. These are commonly perceived as cosmetic because most people don’t realize there is an underlying problem.
  4. ankle swelling (edema). There are many causes for ankle swelling. Some are serious like heart conditions where others are less serious like a salty diet. When ankle swelling is present talk to your doctor about the various causes. However, one of the most common causes of ankle swelling is venous reflux disease. Anyone who has ankle swelling can benefit from an ultrasound examination to determine if venous reflux disease is present.
  5. skin ulceration and breakdown in the ankle. Over time, pooling of blood in the ankles and venous hypertension causes the skin to darken, it can become scaly and itchy and eventually ulcerate because the skin breaks down from chronic inflammation. This is called a venous leg ulcer. Venous leg ulcers are treated by treating the underlying venous reflux disease.

All of these signs and symptoms can be reduced by treating the underlying problem, venous reflux disease. See our treatments page to better understand treatment options.

What Your Ankles Say About Your Health2021-11-13T13:50:53-08:00

25, 6, 2014

What are Vein Valves?


In healthy veins, the valves close after the blood flows towards the heart, preventing backflow.
When veins become dilated, the valves cannot close properly, allowing blood to flow back towards the ankle.

Vein valves play a critical role in helping blood flow through the veins back to the heart. Like swinging doors, valves open to allow blood to flow toward the heart and flap closed again to prevent the flow of blood back down the legs. If the veins become dilated, the flap-like valves cannot completely close, making them incapable of preventing the backflow of blood. This ‘back flow’ of blood through dysfunctional valves is called venous reflux or venous insufficiency.

What are Vein Valves?2021-11-04T19:47:30-07:00
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