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What is venous stasis disease?

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Quick Answer

Chronic venous stasis disease, also called venous insufficiency, is a condition in which the blood veins in the legs have difficulty pumping blood back to the heart, according to WebMD. High blood pressure and another condition called deep vein thrombosis can cause venous stasis disease.

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What is venous stasis disease?
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Full Answer

Veins have valves that keep blood from flowing backwards on its way to the heart, WebMD explains. In patients with chronic venous stasis, these valves stop functioning properly, causing blood to pool in the legs. This pooling can lead to other conditions, including varicose veins.

Venous stasis symptoms include leg aching or itching, WebMD reports. Patients also report changes in skin color, ankle swelling and a feeling of heaviness in their legs. Sometimes varicose veins or sores appear. The condition is usually diagnosed by a physical examination and an ultrasound.

Women are more likely to develop venous stasis than men, WebMD states. Other contributing factors include smoking, a family history of varicose veins and obesity. A lack of physical activity can also lead to the condition.

Treatment includes wearing compression stockings to improve blood flow, ease pain and heal ulcers, WebMD says. Patients may also try avoiding sitting or standing for too long and elevating their feet above their heart. Walking and other forms of exercise also improve blood flow.

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