Chronic Venous Insufficiency affects an estimated 40% of Americans, but is more common in women.  When the valves in your veins don’t function properly and increase pressure on the venous walls.  There are numerous reasons that CVI occurs.  In some cases it is genetic, but can also be caused by injury or a blood clot.v


  • Heaviness of limbs
  • Leg pain
  • Darkening of the skin (a common area is inside of the foot and ankle)
  • Ulcers or sores that are difficult to heal
  • Varicose veins could also indicate CVI


  • A non-invasive Duplex Ultrasound will be used to determine the functioning of the veins valves
  • In more difficult cases, a CT scan may be used to assist in diagnosis


  • CVI can usually be treated without surgery, if detected early. Once ulcers begin forming it is more difficult to treat, however proper wound care and compression stockings can assist with healing
  • Varicose veins often occur with CVI. In these cases, ablation (using a laser to close the vein) is a common treatment that can be performed in an outpatient setting
  • In severe cases, stenting or angioplasty may be required

Would you like more information on Chronic Venous Insufficiency?  Visit the Society for Vascular Surgery’s Patient Resources Section here.