Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Venous Insufficiency
Venous insufficiency is a problem with the flow of blood from the veins of the legs back to the heart. It's also called chronic venous insufficiency or chronic venous stasis.
Veins have valves that keep the blood moving in one direction—toward the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves in the veins of the leg don't work right. So fluid pools in the legs. This can lead to problems that include varicose veins.
Venous insufficiency is sometimes caused by deep vein thrombosis and high blood pressure inside leg veins.
You are more likely to have venous insufficiency if you:
Symptoms affect the legs and may include:
Your doctor can diagnose venous insufficiency by examining your legs and by using a type of ultrasound test (duplex Doppler) to find out how well blood is flowing in your legs.
You can wear compression stockings, which are tighter at the ankles than at the top of the legs, to reduce swelling and to relieve pain. They also can help venous skin ulcers heal. You can buy the stockings with or without a prescription.
You also can try to:
Other Works Consulted
Raju S, Neglen P (2009). Chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(22): 2319–2327.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMargaret Doucette, DO - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Margaret Doucette, DO - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital