Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) results from failure of the valves in deep or superficial veins. Venous anatomy in the legs is uniquely designed to allow blood to flow against the force of gravity. One-way valves in the veins close at the end of each pulsitile burst of blood upward toward the heart, ensuring unidirectional blood flow. A damaged valve with bi-directional blood flow can allow blood to flow back from the deep venous system into the superficial venous system.
Over time, the weight of this column of blood causes fluid and protein to exude into surrounding tissues where it leaks and pools in the legs and feet. Chronic venous insufficiency can cause discoloration of the skin of the ankles and may lead to tissue breakdown, and ulceration. Venous ulcers are most commonly found around the ankle. They have irregular borders and are more likely to have copious drainage than other ulcer types.
What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
The following conditions indicate an increased risk for venous ulceration:
- A history of deep vein thrombosis, which can damage vein valves
- A family history of venous disease
- Lower-extremity edema, which increases the risk of tissue breakdown
What is the Treatment for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Gradient compression stockings help prevent the veins in your legs from becoming overly filled with blood (congested). Veins that are congested with blood make your legs feel heavy. They may ache and fatigue easily. These stockings act to prevent leg swelling by counteracting pressures inside the leg and promoting blood flow back to the heart rather than allowing blood to pool in the legs. Compression squeezes the legs. This can be achieved by special bandaging, gradient compression stockings, or special air pumps.
Venous Insuffienciency is often accompanied by edema and decreased oxygen and nutrient composites in tissue. Since lymph drainage can be augmented by external pressure, proximal venous flow also benefits from external compression, the use of pneumatic compression devices to treat venous insufficiency has proven highly successful. Pumping promotes cutaneous circulation which increases the oxygen content of tissues.
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(b)Bio-occlusive dressings Pneumatic, gradient compression pump therapy
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