Venous insufficiency is a condition in which blood does not flow back to the heart properly because of malfunctioning veins. This condition most often occurs in the legs. If the valves in your leg veins are not working correctly, blood may flow downwards instead of being pushed up toward the heart, which may result in blood pooling in your legs.
Dr. Randall S. Juleff treats venous insufficiency along with a full range of vascular conditions such as spider veins, varicose veins and associated symptoms like leg swelling, muscle cramping and restless leg syndrome. Dr. Juleff is a triple board-certified vein specialist, with La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center. He is certified by the American Board of Surgeons, the American Board of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine (ABVLM).
Know the Symptoms
“Venous insufficiency should always be evaluated by a vein care specialist who is board certified by the ABVLM,” advises Dr. Juleff. Quite often, patients may receive professional advice which may prevent them from seeking an evaluation from a specialist. “People often believe vein care is cosmetic, but the only purely cosmetic condition is spider veins. All other vein conditions are a medical issue involving vein function and unhealthy circulation in the leg. These may lead to things like blood clots, which can be fatal.”
It’s important to know the symptoms of venous insufficiency.
• Muscle cramps, aches and heaviness and fatigue in the legs
• Leg swelling
• Brown or red skin discoloration, usually around the ankles
• Itchy or burning skin
• Restless leg syndrome
• Skin ulcers
Varicose veins are the most common result of venous insufficiency. The bulging, twisted veins occur due to damage of tiny valves that line a vein’s wall. Rather than helping to keep blood flowing towards the heart, damaged veins allow blood to pool backwards into the vessels below. This backflow causes pressure that may stretch out the vein walls, leading to varicose veins.
“Nearly everyone with varicose veins has venous insufficiency, but not everyone with venous insufficiency has varicose veins,” explains Dr. Juleff. There are people who may be suffering from other symptoms such as achiness or heaviness of the legs, but their legs look perfectly normal, so they may not attribute these symptoms to venous insufficiency. “Discoloration of the skin on the leg is another symptom, but many people think it could be caused by sun exposure, diabetes or high blood pressure.”
Venous insufficiency is an inherited problem. If one parent has it then there is a 50%-60% likelihood that you will have it also. If both parents have it, your likelihood of inheriting it rises to 90%. Dr. Juleff says that nearly 50% of the U.S. population over the age of 50 will have a some amount of venous insufficiency.
Although genetics is probably the single most important factor that will determine whether a person will develop venous insufficiency, there are other factors that can contribute to it:
• Muscle weakness
• Prolonged sitting
• Professions that necessitate prolonged standing
Minimally Invasive Treatments
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is a minimally invasive vein treatment procedure used to treat venous insufficiency as an alternative to painful stripping procedures that demanded a lengthy and trying recovery period in order to see results. During this ultrasound-guided procedure, a tiny (less than 1mm) laser fiber is inserted into the diseased vein followed by an application of laser energy to heat and close the malfunctioning veins.
Benefits of EVLT can include:
• Procedure is usually performed in a single session
• Procedure time is typically under an hour
• Performed on an outpatient basis
• Offers immediate relief from symptoms
• Little to no downtime or lengthy recovery
• No need for general anesthesia
• Exceptional effectiveness with up to a 98% success rate
• Minimal or no incisions with less chance for scarring than
Most treatments take about an hour and are relatively pain-free. Patients need to wear compression stockings for approximately two weeks following treatment to encourage efficient circulation.
Radiofrequency ablation uses high-frequency radio waves to heat up and destroy problem veins. The procedure involves inserting a small, flexible tube into a vein. Radiofrequency energy is then directed through the tube, which causes the vein to collapse and ultimately disappear.
The procedure usually takes less than an hour. Patients are able to resume normal activities the day after radiofrequency ablation treatment. Patients may need to avoid intense exercise or heavy lifting for about a week.
New Metairie Location
La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center is opening a second location in Metairie, in the Galleria Medical Building, which is located at 3100 Galleria Boulevard, near the intersection of I-12 and Causeway Blvd. “We joined a group of physicians in the building who all play a role in the improvement of body image and rejuvenation. It’s a “one-stop-shop” for health and body improvements,” says Dr. Juleff. “I’m excited about the opportunity to bring our practice to the Southshore and better serve the entire New Orleans Metropolitan area!”
Don’t Wait, Get an Evaluation!
For many years, the expert staff at La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center has been successfully treating vein conditions with the most advanced treatment methods available. They offer the full spectrum of vein care. Their patients have ranged in age from 15-93 years old.
Dr. Juleff advises people to seek treatment immediately if they suspect a vein problem. “Venous insufficiency can be taken care of in the office with minimally invasive procedures that will have you feeling better quickly with little to no downtime,” explains Dr. Juleff.
For more information, please contact La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center at 985-400-2621.
Covington Location: 1431 Ochsner Boulevard Metairie Location: 3100 Galleria Boulevard