Varicose veins of the legs (varicose veins of the lower extremities)

Varicose veins in the legs

Varicose veins of the legs are one of the most common diseases in the world and according to WHO data, it is found in every fifth person. Pathology of the venous vessels of the lower extremities is associated with dysfunction of the intravenous valves, dilation of the veins, and thinning of their walls. This causes reverse blood flow and its stagnation in the blood vessels. The patient has difficulty moving, pain syndrome occurs, impaired ability to work and quality of life.

Varicose veins of the lower extremities are caused by many factors. The disease therefore requires an accurate diagnosis and competent treatment, selected individually for each patient.

In the absence of timely therapy, a ruptured thrombus can lead to dangerous complications, disability, disability, and even death.

Causes of varicose veins

Blood in the veins moves to the heart. The muscles of the lower extremities are responsible for this, as well as the intravenous valves, which prevent the blood from moving in the opposite direction. When the valves fail, the blood flows against the movement, the pressure in the veins increases and they dilate. As a result, the venous wall thins and blood circulates through it to the surrounding tissues, causing swelling and pain in the lower extremities.

Factors that cause varicose veins include:

  • Heredity;
  • Excessive load on the lower extremities due to excess weight, intense physical exercise, carrying weights;
  • A lifeless lifestyle;
  • Stretching or stretching of the veins of the lower extremities (tight clothing, bandages, sports equipment: expanders, elastic bandages);
  • Prolonged and regular work in a sitting or standing position without changing body position and regular rest;
  • Constant wearing of heeled shoes;
  • Pregnancy and menopause;
  • Chronic diseases (constipation, diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular diseases).

The main factors in the development of varicose veins in men are heredity, unbalanced physical activity and bad habits, while in women varicose veins are more often associated with hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause, wearing uncomfortable shoes.

Symptoms of varicose veins

The first signs of the disease may not be physically felt, but appear only in the form of blood vessels of dark blue and purple color, which are transparent on the skin, in the form of spider veins and spider veins, in the form of veins protruding above the skin surface. From twisted ropes.

Signs of the next stage of varicose veins are manifested in the form of discomfort and pain, pulsations are observed, burning or spasm in the legs, a feeling of heaviness and swelling of the lower extremities, itching in the affected area. Utensils.

Complications of varicose veins

Varicose veins can have serious consequences, causing discomfort and life-threatening. ᲔYour include:

  • Trophic eczema or skin ulcer in the area of the damaged vein, preceded by skin whitening;
  • Deep vein thrombosis caused by blood clots from small superficial veins;
  • Pulmonary embolism due to blood clots that have entered the bloodstream from the veins of the lower extremities;
  • Varicose vein rupture accompanied by profuse bleeding that is difficult to stop.

Diagnosis of varicose veins

Venous problems are solved by phlebologists, but other specialists are involved in making an accurate diagnosis: angiologist, dermatologist, dietitian, endocrinologist and, if surgery is necessary, a vascular surgeon.

At the initial consultation, the phlebologist finds out the symptoms, when they occurred and how often they recur, and also asks if there are similar problems in other family members. In addition, it is important for the physician to know the patient's lifestyle and habits.

After a complete examination of the lower extremities and especially the area of concern, the phlebologist can refer the patient for further examination: ultrasound, phlebography (venous X-ray), phlebomanometry (measurement of arterial pressure in the veins), three-dimensional computed tomography with venous imaging, radiographic blood).

Dopplerography (color duplex angiography) is considered to be the most accurate method in advanced stages or complications. This allows you to assess the nature of the blood flow, the condition of the valves and deep veins, determine the reverse blood flow and the presence of blood clots.

Only an accurate diagnosis will allow the doctor to draw up an optimal treatment plan.

Treatment of varicose veins

Therapy aims to identify and minimize the influence of disease-causing factors, as well as to eliminate the consequences and avoid complications.

There are three approaches to treating varicose veins: conservative, minimally invasive, and radical surgery.

Conservative treatment of varicose veins includes:

  1. Use of ointments, gels and tablets based on phlebotonics - substances that improve the tone of the veins, the condition of their walls, blood circulation, relieve swelling and discomfort. An effective drug in this group for varicose veins is Detralex, which contains five herbal components that have a beneficial effect on the condition of venous blood vessels. The drug is available in two forms: tablets and oral suspension.
  2. Wearing compression underwear, which creates optimal pressure on the problem areas of the legs, prevents the veins from dilating and maintains the tone of the vascular wall.
  3. Diet therapy, depending on the specific case, can be aimed at weight loss, strengthening the walls of venous blood vessels, preventing swelling, and normalizing bowel movements. Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required.
  4. Physiotherapy is essential to improve blood circulation, increase the tone of the muscles and blood vessels of the legs, and eliminate venous stasis. In addition, physical activity helps to normalize weight and improves the patient's psychological state. Sports with varicose veins require safety precautions. In particular, during exercise you should wear compression underwear and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and increase blood viscosity. Prolonged static loads and heavy lifting are also prohibited. After exercise, it is recommended to lie on your back with your legs raised to ensure blood flow from the veins.

Non-invasive methods of varicose vein removal include laser treatment (laser exposure) and radiofrequency ablation (high-frequency current exposure). As a result, the vessel walls are welded and the vein soon opens.

Sclerotherapy is also performed: sclerosant is injected into the damaged vein - a special substance that causes it to block. As a result, blood flow is diverted to the nearest healthy vessel and the problematic vein disappears over time. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, followed by compulsory wearing of compression underwear.

In severe cases of varicose veins, phlebectomy is performed - surgery to remove part or all of the damaged vessel. Such a radical approach is recommended in cases where the patient has contraindications to "welding" methods, as well as at high risk of disease recurrence.

After surgery, future prevention of varicose veins requires normalization of diet, abandonment of bad habits, taking medications prescribed by a doctor to thin the blood and strengthen blood vessels, and doing therapeutic exercises.

Prevention of varicose veins

It includes sports activities (swimming, walking, cycling, jogging, aerobics), drinking habits, avoiding bad habits, tight clothing, high-heeled shoes, regular warm-up while sitting. Doctor - Wearing compression stockings. In addition, it is important to monitor the general state of health in order to timely detect and cure diseases that can provoke varicose veins.

At the first suspicion of a vascular problem, you should contact specialists for timely initiation of diagnosis and treatment.