Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) manifests when the venous wall and/or valves within the leg veins lose their efficiency, impeding the smooth return of blood to the heart from the legs. This inefficiency leads to the accumulation of blood in these veins, a condition referred to as stasis.

Veins play a vital role in returning blood from all organs of the body to the heart. However, to reach the heart, blood must travel against gravity from the veins in the legs. This uphill journey is facilitated by the contraction of calf muscles and foot muscles with each step, which exert pressure on the veins, propelling blood upward. To prevent blood from flowing back downward, veins are equipped with one-way valves.

The onset of chronic venous insufficiency arises when these valves sustain damage, permitting blood to regurgitate backward. Valve impairment may be attributed to various factors such as aging, prolonged periods of sitting or standing, or a combination of aging and decreased mobility. As the veins and valves weaken, hindering the upward flow of blood to the heart, venous blood pressure remains elevated over extended durations, resulting in CVI.

CVI commonly stems from conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT), characterized by blood clot formation in the deep veins of the legs. Additionally, CVI may arise from pelvic tumors, vascular malformations, or occasionally, for reasons yet unknown. The compromised function of leg vein valves in retaining blood against gravity leads to sluggish blood movement out of the veins, culminating in leg swelling.


– Lower leg and ankle swelling, particularly after prolonged periods of standing
– Leg aching or fatigue
– Emergence of new varicose veins
– Skin on the legs appearing leathery
– Flaky or itchy skin on the legs or feet
– Presence of stasis ulcers (or venous stasis ulcers)

Risk Factors:
– History of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
– Varicose veins or a familial predisposition to varicose veins
– Obesity
– Pregnancy
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Smoking
– Extended periods of standing or sitting
– Female gender
– Age exceeding 50

Contact Our Office

Orlando Heart & Vascular Institute450 W. Central Parkway – Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

Phone: (407) 767-8554
Fax Number: 407-767-9121

Office hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00 am-4: 30 pm
Friday 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8am-4:30pm