Varicose veins

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 25.06.2018

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Varicose veins are a disease that is characterized by protruding through the skin veins, as well as thinning of the veins and the formation of subcutaneous nodules. Often the disease can be traced on the legs.

Varicose disease is a disease of the veins of the lower limbs, when specific subcutaneous vein dilatations have appeared and are developing in people who have never had a thrombosis of deep venous trunks.

For the first time this name appeared in 1966 in the article of P. Alekseev and V. S. Bagdasaryan, then in 1972 in the book of VS Saveliev, E. P. Dumpe, PG Yablokov "Diseases of the main veins" and in 1983 A. Vedensky's monograph "Varicose Disease" was published. Prior to this, there was the notion of "varicose veins", which was divided into the primary, emerged independently, for no apparent reason, and secondary, which developed after a thrombosis of deep venous trunks. This term is still used abroad, but only for the "primary" option. If varicose veins appeared due to deep thrombosis, then foreign phlebologists refer it to post-thrombophlebitic syndrome.

What causes varicose veins of the lower extremities?

The true causes of varicose veins are still unknown. There are several theories trying to explain why there is a reorganization of the venous wall, as a result of which the veins begin to unevenly expand, lengthen and wriggle, forming nodes from the vessels - varices. In practice, all theories receive partial support and are not used completely. So today, like a hundred years ago, doctors treat not the disease itself, but its manifestations.

The main factors that cause varicose veins are excessively fragile vessels and a weak venous valve. Such a valve is not able to cope with the pressure of the reverse blood flow, resulting in increased pressure on the vascular walls and veins, expanding, protrude through the skin.

The risk factors for this unpleasant disease are as follows:

  • long standing on legs. Frequently varicose veins are noted in people of such specialties as surgeons, teachers, salesmen, hairdressers - that is, those who have to spend a lot of time in standing position;
  • pregnancy. Pregnant women often notice varicose veins. This insidious disease appears due to an increase in the amount of blood in the body. In addition, the uterus with the fruit in it exerts a mechanical pressure on the veins that follow from the legs and are highly susceptible to various external influences. In addition, the veins of a pregnant woman are significantly affected by estrogen and progesterone - sex hormones. As a rule, the varicose veins inherent in pregnant women quickly disappear after the birth of the child;
  • excessive body weight, which increases the load on the legs while walking, also adversely affects the veins and provokes the occurrence of varicose veins;
  • deep vein thrombosis. This disease is characterized by intravenous pressure, which rises so much that blood flows through the communicating veins into the superficial veins, resulting in varicose veins;
  • high intra-abdominal pressure. As you know, when you inhale, the veins expand, when you exhale, they narrow down. During straining, there is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, and the veins, as a consequence, also expand - this is due to the outflow of blood. To the indispositions that require straining, include chronic cough, frequent constipation, as well as prostate adenoma, etc. These factors provoke the expansion of not only the foot, but also some other veins, for example, rectal, which leads to hemorrhoids, and veins of the seed flagellum, leading to varicocele;
  • age. This is also an important factor, the result of which is varicose veins. With the passage of age, the vascular walls and venous valve lose elasticity, weaken, and hence varicose veins appear;
  • congenital pathologies of blood vessels can lead to the appearance of varicose veins;
  • Surgical interventions and leg injuries are another cause of the ailment.

How does the varicose veins of the lower extremities appear?

According to statistics, today about 40% of the total population of the planet Earth is affected by varicose veins. Almost every person who has been affected by the disease, from the first signs, notes the appearance of small vascular "stars". Women at the sight of this skin flaw fall into despair, hide their legs under dark pantyhose, try to hide the stars with the help of cosmetics, thereby missing the moment of treatment of the ailment.

Varicose veins in neglected form are fraught with strong edema, the appearance of trophic ulcers and altered skin color. Vascular asterisks - this is the first symptom to alert the patient that his health is threatened by a serious illness.

In addition to the asterisks, varicose veins show themselves edema in the ankle and lower leg. Varicose veins also expose themselves through pain in the calf muscles, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, fatigue. Cramping often occurs at night.

How to recognize varicose veins?

Today, instrumental diagnosis of varicose veins is experiencing a second rise in the half century. A huge contribution to understanding the pathogenesis of this disease was made by radiocontrast studies. Phlebography still has its niche in the diagnosis of a number of phlebological pathologies, but not with varicose veins, where for more than 10 years the first place belongs to ultrasonic duplex scanning. With the help of ultrasonic angioscanning it is possible to "see" any vessel, its walls, intravasal formations, measure its diameter, determine the function of its valves in any place. Non-invasiveness of the study allows to continue it indefinitely in time, perform in different positions of the subject and repeat any number of times.

Advantages of duplex scanning made it "the gold standard" in modern phlebology.

The main place in modern diagnostics of varicose veins is occupied by surgical tasks:

  1. indications for surgical intervention,
  2. volume of operation,
  3. technology intervention,
  4. accuracy of accesses and minimization of them.

What do need to examine?

How is varicose veins treated?

Many decades ago, the treatment of varicose veins was carried out only by an operative route. Modern methods of treatment are more humane and less dangerous to health. These include sclerotherapy, laser therapy, intravenous laser, surgery, hirudotherapy, medication.

Each method is good in its own way and has its pros and cons. The method of treatment is selected individually by the attending physician. Based on the degree of development, age, financial situation, general condition and other aspects of the patient, the phlebologist-doctor decides on the method of cure.

Varicose veins are a very dangerous disease requiring urgent medical attention at the first signs of the onset of the disease. Do not engage in self-medication - you can miss valuable time, and treatment of the disease will be complicated many times.

More information of the treatment

How to prevent varicose veins?

Varicose veins can ruin the life and mood of any person. However, you can avoid the disease if you follow certain rules.

First of all, people suffering from excessive body weight, should bring their weight to normal, because extra pounds put a lot of pressure on the veins and legs in general.

In the process of losing weight, you should include not only special exercises, but also diet.

It is necessary to limit the use of foods rich in sodium content - due to this, the body will stop accumulating excess fluid.

It is required as often as possible to use in the diet products enriched with fiber - this will help get rid of constipation, causing straining and, as a consequence, varicose veins.

People who are forced to sit or stand for a long time should change their legs more often in order to avoid stagnation of blood in their veins. It should not be sitting on a chair, put your foot on your leg, as the blood flow in this case is disturbed, which can lead to unpleasant consequences.

After a long sitting or walking, it is recommended to lie down on the bed and put your feet on the wall - blood circulation in this situation will improve, in the legs will feel relief.

The next rule concerns women - it says that representatives of the beautiful half of humanity who are predisposed to such a disease as varicose veins, it is not recommended to wear shoes and other shoes with high heels.

Varicose veins signal about its appearance in the initial stage of its development, so a person has every chance, immediately contacting a doctor, to start an effective fight against this disease. 

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