Chronic Venous Obstruction

If you have chronic venous obstruction, the veins in your legs are not functioning properly. This condition can be the result of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot deep in your leg, which has turned into scar tissue after treatment.

When patients have DVT, the standard treatment is the use of blood thinners. Ideally, the blood thinners will cause the clot to dissolve entirely with no damage to the vein, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the blood clot dissolves only partially, or not at all, and turns into scar tissue within the vein leading to some form of blockage known as chronic venous obstruction.

While DVT and vein damage can occur in any of the deep veins of the leg, the larger iliac veins in the pelvis tend to respond poorly to blood thinners alone and are more susceptible to this kind of blockage.

When your leg veins are blocked, the blood cannot sufficiently return to the heart, causing pain and swelling of the limb, and increasing the risk for elevated blood pressure in the vein that supplies the affected limb.

Treatment for chronic venous obstruction may include surgical procedures or less invasive treatments such as angioplasty and stenting to reopen the blocked vein.

Symptoms may include

  • Heavy legs
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin damage


  • Angioplasty
  • Stenting