venous insufficiency CEAP stages

What Is Venous Insufficiency? 

Venous insufficiency happens when veins do not function properly and allow the blood to flow back down into the legs instead of up to the heart. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Venous Insufficiency? 

Venous insufficiency symptoms can range from spider veins, varicose veins, heaviness in the legs, itching, swelling, discomfort, discoloration, painful legs, leg ulcers, and restless legs. Venous insufficiency is a progressive disease and these symptoms will not go away unless treated. 

What Causes Venous Insufficiency? 

Venous insufficiency is caused by many different factors including genetics, age, gender, weight, lifestyle, smoking, and pregnancy. 

How Serious Is Venous Insufficiency? 

While venous insufficiency may not be life-threatening, the symptoms can negatively impact a person’s lifestyle or job. Venous insufficiency is a progressive disease that will not go away on its own. If left untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to leg ulcers, which can break open and be prone to infection.

How Is Venous Insufficiency Treated?

Wearing compression stockings is a short-term method of alleviating symptoms but will not treat venous insufficiency. If symptoms worsen, you will need to see a physician to discuss other treatment options which could include sclerotherapy or vein ablations.

What Are The Types Of Venous Insufficiency?

To determine how advanced the venous insufficiency in each person, the physician will use CEAP (Clinical-Etiological-Anatomical-Pathophysiological) classification. Since venous disease is a progressive disease, CEAP helps classify the stage:

C0 – No visible or palpable signs of venous disease (spider veins)

C1- Telanglectases or reticular veins

C2 – Varicose veins

C3- Edema due to venous etiology

C4a.- Pigmentation and/or eczema

C4b.- Lipodermato–sclerosis and/or atrophy blanche

C5- Healed venous ulcer

C6 – Active venous ulcer

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