What is the danger and how are varicose veins in the legs treated?

In most people, varicose veins are primarily associated with large, painful blue and purple nodules that disfigure the legs of both sexes. But what seems so ugly is an already developed, if not neglected, disease. The very early stages of the disease are virtually invisible to others and are often not taken seriously by patients themselves.

But it is extremely risky not to react to vascular pain, swelling and more so to "asterisks", since the disease is serious, does not go away on its own, but threatens the development of dangerous complications. If the disease begins, not only ugly knots will appear on the legs. Violations of venous outflow will lead to irreversible consequences in the tissues, which will lead to the formation of trophic ulcers. It is a serious and painful disorder which is very difficult to cure.

As the disease progresses, the blood supply to the lower extremities will constantly deteriorate. This will lead to the fact that the tissues will no longer receive the required amount of oxygen and nutrients, as the vessels will be clogged, twisted and cease to perform their functions. The result will be serious problems, including tissue death and the development of gangrene. And that's amputation and disability. Varicose veins therefore require an attentive attitude and the fastest possible response. Only with an early start of the correct treatment will it be possible to avoid not only serious consequences, but also to get rid of the ugly and annoying bulging veins on the legs.

Causes of varicose veins in the legs

the doctor examines the leg with varicose veins

There are many reasons and factors that can trigger the development of varicose veins.

There are many reasons why varicose veins in the legs develop. But basically the impetus for the development of the disease is a variety of triggers such as working with a constant being on your feet, hereditary predisposition, or love for uncomfortable high-heeled shoes.

The real reason for the formation of varicose veins is a violation of venous outflow. In the human body, blood circulates, that is, it is constantly moving through the circulatory system. When entering the lower limbs, the blood cannot go back up on its own, it needs a "pump". Its role is played by special venous valves.

If they begin to perform poorly in their tasks, the so-called reflux occurs - backflow of blood due to the failure of the valves. Such violations are provoked by problems with the physiological balance between muscle cells, elastic fibers of the walls of blood vessels and collagen. When the blood comes back, it seeps into the tissues, leading to the formation of chronic venous insufficiency.

In this case, edema appears, then, as blood components seep into the tissues, fluid stagnation (stasis) occurs, and microcirculation is disturbed. The cells gradually die and a trophic ulcer appears at the site of blood accumulation. These are painful, long-term non-healing tissue defects that open the door to infection and the development of even more dangerous health problems.

The first signs, stages and their symptoms

manifestations of varicose veins on the legs

The symptomatology of varicose veins is directly related to its stages.

In terms of prevalence, varicose veins can be considered one of the most common diseases. It has been known since ancient times, because there is not only documentary evidence, but also physical evidence. In Egypt, a mummy was found with traces of varicose veins and trophic ulcers apparently treated on several occasions.

The disease affects both men and women, but it is more common in women. The main reason for the difference is that women give birth and wear high heels and spend more and more time on their feet.

Varicose veins can develop in young people, often triggered by pregnancy and childbirth, when there is a high load on the venous system due to the growth and pressure of the fetus, and then after the stress of the fetus. delivery.

At first, the symptoms of the disease are difficult to distinguish, they are difficult to differentiate from other problems.

Minor pain in the calves is usually noted first, especially after walking, which is often attributed to normal fatigue. The patient may complain of getting tired quickly, not being able to walk long distances as before. He is embarrassed by convulsions, burning sensations, bloating, often intensifying at night, in the evening there is swelling, a feeling of heaviness, legs "filled with lead".

Most often at this stage, patients do not go to the doctor, attributing the unpleasant sensations to uncomfortable shoes, a heavy load on the legs, heat and fatigue. But the disease can progress for years, even decades, until the condition worsens to the point that protruding blue veins under the skin become visible or vascular "stars" appear. And even the presence of such symptoms and pains, clearly directed along the veins, does not always force the patient to seek medical help.

There are many methods of classifying the disease, but most often the division into stages is used:

  • The first one- defeat of a small number of vessels, mainly in the lower legs, with complaints of pain, fatigue, slight manifestation of the pattern of the veins. The treatment started at this stage is particularly effective.
  • The second- addition of symptoms of impaired venous flow: edema, water stagnation, appearance of slight pain in the calves and feet. A common symptom is extreme fatigue towards the end of the workday.
  • Third- development of venous valve failure. The formation of twisted and twisted veins, severe swelling, discoloration of the skin towards cyanosis, an emerging tendency for the formation of trophic ulcers. A feature is the appearance of pain even with minor physical exertion on the legs.
  • Fourth- blue convex and convoluted veins visible under the skin, formation of nodes which make the skin of the extremities in relief, presence of non-healing trophic ulcers. At this point, only urgent surgery can help.

It is necessary to treat varicose veins as soon as possible and not to resort to self-activity, but be sure to seek help from a specialist - a phlebologist. He will assess the condition of the vessels, diagnose and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Most often it is combined, including different methods of influence.

Diagnosis of the disease

In the early stages, it may be impossible to detect varicose veins in the legs by visual methods. Duplex ultrasound of the vessels of the lower extremities is considered the best method. It allows you to get a complete picture of the condition of the veins of the legs, including the deepest, to assess the level of blood flow, does not cause discomfort and pain for the patient, and also helpsthe correct selection and prescription of the optimal method of treatment.

Medical treatment

treatment of varicose veins on the legs with ointment

For the treatment of varicose veins in the early stages, special creams, ointments and tablets are used.

The main threat that varicose veins carry with it is thrombophlebitis, that is, an inflammatory process in the walls of blood vessels. With him, the risk of thrombosis sharply increases, and a thrombus is already a direct threat not only to health, but also to the life of the patient. A "broken" blood clot can travel to vital organs and cause life-threatening conditions such as pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, or stroke.

In the early stages of the disease, combined therapy is used, based primarily on the use of special drugs - venotonics and compression products. The main drugs are drugs that help thin the blood and prevent the formation of blood clots, tone and strengthen blood vessels, improve blood circulation.

Compression therapy includes the use of special elastic bandages and compression stockings - socks, socks, stockings and tights.

They should be selected by a doctor, depending on the degree of development of the disease. In the early stages, prophylactic compression hosiery is most often used. High-quality medical products are no different from special knitwear, so they can be worn daily. They are especially recommended for women who spend most of their day standing - salespeople, hairdressers, teachers.

Traditional methods of the disease

Traditional medicine treats varicose veins on the legs as follows:

  1. Compresses of green tomatoes.This seemingly strange remedy is a great help in relieving inflammation, vascular swelling, and edema. Unripe tomatoes cut into circles are applied to the sore spot at night and removed in the morning.
  2. Horse chestnut tincture.This herb is widely used to treat venous problems, so it can also be done at home. Rubbing the legs with the tincture relieves pain and swelling, tones and strengthens the veins.
  3. Gingko biloba- an old tree with interesting triangular foliage. Its leaves are used as a very effective remedy to improve blood circulation and strengthen the walls of blood vessels.

You can combat the manifestations of varicose veins with the help of various herbal preparations, but it is better to consult your doctor first.

Surgical intervention

varicose vein surgery in the legs

The essence of the operation is to heal and remove the pathologically damaged veins.

Operative procedures for varicose veins are frequent, since the developed disease cannot be cured by conservative methods alone.

The following surgical techniques are most commonly used:

  • Phlebectomy,or removal of the affected veins.
  • Laser coagulation- a modern method of obliteration (plugging) of diseased vessels using a directed laser beam. Over time, the vessel stops functioning, scleroses and dissolves. The technique is considered sparing, as it does not require incisions, hospitalization and a long recovery period. The procedure has an excellent cosmetic effect.
  • Radiofrequency coagulation- a means of eliminating reflux in the large or small saphenous vein. In terms of effectiveness, it is comparable to phlebectomy, but does not require a period of rehabilitation and is easier to tolerate by patients.
  • Sclerotherapy.A method in which a special drug is injected into a vein under the control of an ultrasound machine, leading to the sticking of the vein.

Treatment prognosis and possible complications

Varicose veins of the legs are a serious disease that can easily lead to very dangerous complications. The main danger is the development of thrombosis, due to which the whole body can be affected. Detachment and migration of a blood clot threatens a person with unexpected death, because a blood clot entering vital organs and blocking a vessel with it can easily cause a stroke, heart attack, or embolism.

leg pain with varicose veins

Thrown varicose veins can lead to disability.

The second terrible threat that varicose veins cause is deprivation of mobility and disability. If the disease is left untreated, it can lead to the development of complete blockage of the veins in the legs, in which gangrene will develop, and doctors will have no other option to save the patient's life than toamputation of a limb or both legs. .

Such dire consequences can only be avoided with prompt access to medical help and strict adherence to medical prescriptions. The treatment started on time allows you to avoid terrible complications and to preserve the health and beauty of your legs.

Prevention is essential to prevent disease. These simple rules are constantly repeated by doctors, but most people stubbornly ignore them until the problem with the veins affects them personally.

Preventive measures to prevent varicose veins are as follows:

  1. Moderate physical activity. For vascular health, overload and passive sitting in immobile positions, which cause blood to stagnate in the lower extremities, are also detrimental.
  2. Stop bad habits - smoke and drink alcohol. They have an extremely negative effect on the condition of the veins.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes with medium heels, no more than 5-6 cm high.
  4. Use of prophylactic compression hosiery, if necessary, in "standing" labor or strained heredity, during pregnancy and childbirth.
  5. Fight against excess weight. A large body weight is one of the factors contributing to the development of varicose veins.

Following these simple rules will help keep your veins strong and healthy, and your legs beautiful and lean.