Diagnosing Venous Insufficiency: What You Need to Know

Venous insufficiency in Westminster, Co

Not everyone is clued up when it comes to vein diseases or vein conditions, so in this blog, we will look at everything you need to know about venous disease and how to diagnose it.

Our experienced medical team at Artemis Vein & Aesthetic Centre, led by board-certified physician Dr. David Pinsinski, has performed numerous vein treatments in Westminster, Co. 

We are dedicated to helping our patients ease pain, improve circulation, and reduce the visibility of their veins with cutting-edge vein treatments.


What is Venous Insufficiency?

Your arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Your veins carry blood back to the heart, and valves in the veins stop the blood from flowing backward. 

When your veins have trouble sending blood from your limbs back to the heart, it’s known as venous insufficiency. In this condition, blood doesn’t flow back properly to the heart, causing blood to pool in the veins in your legs.

Several factors can cause venous insufficiency, though it’s most commonly caused by blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) and varicose veins. Even if you have a family history of venous insufficiency, there are simple steps you can take to lower your chances of developing the condition.


Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency

Symptoms of venous insufficiency include:

  • Swelling of the legs or ankles
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand and gets better when you raise your legs
  • Leg cramps
  • Aching, throbbing, or a feeling of heaviness in your legs
  • Itchy legs
  • Weak legs
  • Thickening of the skin on your legs or ankles
  • Skin that is changing color, especially around the ankles
  • Leg ulcers
  • Varicose veins
  • A feeling of tightness in your calves


What Causes Venous Insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is most often caused by either blood clots or varicose veins. In healthy veins, there is a continuous flow of blood from the limbs back toward the heart. Valves within the veins of the legs help prevent the backflow of blood.

The most common causes of venous insufficiency are previous cases of blood clots and varicose veins. When forward flow through the veins is obstructed – such as in the case of a blood clot – blood builds up below the clot, which can lead to venous insufficiency. 

In varicose veins, the valves are often missing or impaired, and blood leaks back through the damaged valves. In some cases, weakness in the leg muscles that squeeze blood forward can also contribute to venous insufficiency.

Venous insufficiency is more common in women than in men. It’s also more likely to occur in adults over the age of 50.

Other risk factors include:

  • Blood clots
  • Varicose veins
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Muscle weakness, leg injury, or trauma
  • Swelling of a superficial vein (phlebitis)
  • Family history of venous insufficiency
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time without moving


How is Venous Insufficiency Diagnosed?

Dr. Pinsinski will want to do a physical examination and take a complete medical history to figure out if you have venous insufficiency. He may also order some imaging tests to pinpoint the problem. These tests may include a venogram or a duplex ultrasound.



During a venogram, the doctor will put an intravenous (IV) contrast dye into your veins. Contrast dye causes the blood vessels to appear opaque on the X-ray image, which helps the doctor to see them on the image. This dye will provide Dr. Pinsinski with a clearer X-ray picture of your blood vessels. 


Duplex Ultrasound

A type of test called a duplex ultrasound may be used to test the speed and direction of blood flow in the veins. A technician will place some gel on the skin and then press a small hand-held device (transducer) against this area. The transducer uses sound waves that bounce back to a computer to produce images of blood flow.


How Venous Insufficiency is Treated?

Treatment will depend on many factors, including the reason for the condition and your health status and history. Other factors Dr. Pinsinski will consider are:

  • Your specific symptoms
  • Your age
  • The severity of your condition
  • How well you can tolerate medications or procedures

The most common treatment for venous insufficiency is prescription compression stockings These special elastic stockings apply pressure at the ankle and lower leg. They help improve blood flow and can reduce leg swelling. 

Compression stockings come in a range of prescription strengths and different lengths. Your doctor will help you decide what the best type of compression stocking is for your treatment.

Treatment for venous insufficiency can include several different strategies:


How to Prevent Venous Insufficiency?

If you have a family history of venous insufficiency, you can take steps to lessen your chances of developing the condition:

  • Don’t sit or stand in one position for long stretches of time. Get up and move around frequently. Keep your legs elevated whenever possible.
  • Keep your legs uncrossed when seated.
  • Wear compression stockings to apply to your lower legs for improved blood circulation;lp9.
  • Don’t smoke, and if you do smoke, quit.
  • Get regular exercise for improved vein health.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight by eating healthy.


Get Your Vein Disease Treated by an Experienced Vein Specialist at Artemis Vein & Aesthetic Center in Westminster, Co.

If you think you might have venous insufficiency, we might just have the right treatment for you with Dr. Pinsinski in Westminster. To see what can be done about your condition, book an appointment with Dr. Pinsinski. 

He’ll discuss your options with you, using his years of experience and expertise. Contact us today for an appointment.