Venous stasis is a condition characterized by inflamed skin as the result of slow blood flow (usually in the legs but, under rare circumstances, also in other limbs). It affects many adults, often ages 50 and over.
Inflammation occurs when valves or vein walls fail to function properly. Because the blood cannot be circulated back to the heart, it pools in the legs. In addition to the inflammation, this condition is often associated with varicose veins and lesions that may initially manifest as red or brown skin. Additionally, it can result in Venous Stasis Ulcers (VSU) which tend to be chronic because the underlying venous insufficiency condition does not provide the healthy support needed to allow wounds to close and heal. Venous stasis ulcers can cause significant health issues. They may become infected and /or get quite large if they remain untreated.
Studies have also found that venous stasis occurs more frequently the higher a patient’s age and body mass index (BMI) is. It is also common in patients with diabetes, obesity, and a history of smoking.
Other symptoms of venous stasis include:
- Aching or other pains.
- Hair loss on ankles and shins.
- General fatigue.
- Limb heaviness.
- Pain when standing.
- Ulcers and sores on the skin (notably the inner ankle).
- Scaling or crusting skin.
- Oozing sores.
Dangers and Diagnosis
Venous stasis can lead to blood clots (also known as venous thrombosis) and is the most common cause of venous ulcers and the cause of 80% of lower extremity ulcers in general.
An estimated 1% of adults in the United States experience venous ulcers.
It’s often very easy for doctors to diagnose venous stasis because it is so noticeable and unique, but is occasionally difficult because the swelling can be intermittent in the early stages of the condition.
A doctor will often assess your medical history, followed by a physical examination. Occasionally some lab testing such as an ultrasound to gauge the quality of blood flow may be necessary.
Venous insufficiency edema is a leading cause of lymphedema. Phlebolymphedema (lymphedema caused by venous insufficiency) develops when the lymphatic vessels are damaged by inflammation or by edema lymph fluid overload that strains the lymph vessel walls beyond capacity. Phlebolymphedema adds to the edema from the veins and further increases the edema and inflammation.
Compression is the cornerstone of treatment for CVI and venous stasis ulcers. It works by pressing against the leg tissue, increasing the pressure outside the vein walls. This increased external pressure reduces the quantity of fluids that leak out of the vein capillaries and also boosts the veins’ ability to move blood back to the heart.
Lifestyle changes such as weight loss and avoidance of sedentary periods have been shown to improve the condition.
Intermittent pneumatic compression therapy (IPC) with Lympha Press® is a highly effective method for the treatment of chronic venous stasis ulcers. It is very easy to use and can be self-applied regularly by the patient without assistance.
In some cases, sclerotherapy and endovenous thermal ablation can be used to dissolve the affected vein, or a doctor may prescribe steroids or other agents.
Lympha Press is an effective, proven therapy for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) that:
- Increases venous blood return. This reduces the production of edema fluid and helps prevent further damage to veins.
- Increases lymph transport. This removes edema.
- Moves edema proximally toward functional lymph vessels. This enables edema removal when the local vessels are damaged by inflammation.
Lympha Press® speeds healing of venous stasis ulcers and prevents their recurrence by:
- Increasing oxygenation to the wound bed. Increased oxygenation helps the wound to heal.
- Assisting wound closure by reducing the swelling that keeps the wound edges apart.
- Increasing venous return during treatment sessions.
A treatment plan including Lympha Press® can prevent progression and heal ulcers. Read a variety of patient success stories here.