Possible causes of venous insufficiency include: a genetic predisposition to varicose veins thrombosis (or “post-thrombotic syndrome”)

The function of veins is to return blood to the heart. In other words, they pump blood “uphill”.

In order to avoid too much pressure building up, the veins in the legs in particular have special valves, spaced every 0.5 to 1cm apart, that prevent the blood from flowing backwards. 

In the case of varicose veins, these valves no longer close properly. The pressure in the veins increases, particularly in the calves, since this section of the legs is farthest from the heart. 


How does a phlebo-lymphedema occur:

Long-term strain on the lymphatic system is considered to be the cause of phlebo-lymphedema. A greater volume of fluid from the blood vessels is forced (filtered) into tissue as a result of increased pressure in the veins. This excess tissue fluid is referred to by physicians as edema.

Patients suffer from congestion and swelling, particularly in the limbs. When the legs are propped up, the body reabsorbs the excess tissue fluid, draining it to the vessels once again. This means that in the morning, after getting up, the legs are not usually swollen any longer.

However, if much bodily waste is retained in the tissue, propping up the legs is no longer a sufficient remedy. The tissue hardens and phlebo-lymphedema develops. 

Therapy of a phlebo-lymphedema

Therapy Symptoms caused by varicose veins (i.e. heavy legs, tingling sensation, cramps) and/or associated edema can be most effectively treated by wearing compression stockings.

Stockings extending to the knee are usually sufficient. In order to achieve the best results, it is necessary to wear the stockings consistently; patients should especially keep them on under warm conditions. Even so, many patients do not wear their compression stockings when temperatures are particularly high.

We recommend to freeze a dry towel in the freezer and apply the cold towel on the legs.

If the skin has already some pathological changes, the lymphvessel system is damaged too. In this case we the most effective therapy is the socalled "combined decongestive therapy" which consists of Manual lymphdrainage, bandaging, skincare and exercises.

Please read also the rules for lymphedema patients.