SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Varicose veins or a bruise that won’t go away on your leg could be a sign of something very serious.
One Salt Lake City woman had a bruise from a minor on her leg that developed into such a painful problem she could hardly walk.
Turns out her condition is very common. It’s called CVI: Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Her veins weren’t doing its job. But a minimally invasive procedure solved the problem.
Bonnie Christensen feels most alive on her beloved horses.
“It’s kind of the breath of the air I breathe type deal.”
That lifeline was nearly taken away from Bonnie after a couple of minor bruises two years ago.
“It was so bad I could hardly walk.”
The bruises wouldn’t heal.
It was a nearly two-year ordeal of excruciating pain.
“It was the most painful miserable thing I ever had.”
Bonnie would later learn she developed a condition called Chronic Vein Insufficiency or CVI.
Basically, certain veins stop working.
“It’s very common. Say I took 10 random people off the streets between the ages of 30-80 and I did an ultrasound on them, 7 or 8 would test positive to some degree,” said Dr. Christopher Kim, Utah Cardiology.
But not everyone has to be treated for it.
CVI symptoms include:
- Varicose veins
- Restless legs
- Open sores
If symptoms are left untreated, they could lead to many complications like Bonnie’s condition including infections with open sores that never heal or needing skin grafts.
“When blood starts pooling veins aren’t designed to handle that high pressure. The varicose veins are the consequence of the high pressure in the venous system causing swelling in the superficial veins,” said Kim.
In the past, doctors would use an invasive procedure to strip the veins or use heat.
But Dr. Kim in Farmington now uses a minimally invasive procedure to close off the superficial veins called VenaSeal.
“I call it medical super glue, injecting the glue closing down in the inside.”
It’s a safer minimally invasive procedure that takes only a few minutes and gets people like Bonnie back to doing what she loves.
“It was a godsend,” said Bonnie.
CVI affects roughly 40% of the U.S. population.
Dr. Kim says CVI can be hereditary, but often patients mistake it as a natural aging process but if wounds persist and there’s any question talk to your physician.