Varicose veins of the lower extremities

Varicose veins or varicose veins is a dilation of the surface veins, associated with the lack of venous valves and blood flow disturbance. This disease is the most common vascular pathology among persons of working age.

Causes of varicose veins

veins in the legs

There are the traditional risk factors for development and progression of the disease. Heredity and its contribution to the appearance of varicose veins is not clearly proved. It is noticed that in some families several generations of recurrent varicose veins, but it is currently believed that the dominant role in the formation of the disease, which is played by nutritional factors, peculiarities of lifestyle, and also the condition associated with changes in the hormonal cycle.

Obesity is one of the major risk factors for the development of the disease. In addition, the incidence of varicose veins increases with the severity of obesity. Often obesity is coupled with a stationary or sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet. In the diet of the population in industrialized countries is currently dominated by products with a high degree of processing, but is still insufficient intake of dietary fiber from raw fruits and vegetables. Plant fibres, which are necessary for the strengthening of vascular walls, in addition, to prevent chronic constipation, which, in turn, leads to increased intra-abdominal pressure, and the formation of varicose veins.

One should not forget the bad organization of the work process. Often, most of the time we spend in sitting or standing, and this is very bad for the valve apparatus veins. Also unfortunate is the hard work associated with a sharp pressure on the lower limbs, for example, when lifting weights. In our dynamic time will not be rare long flights or transfers, which are accompanied by the occurrence of stagnation of the blood in the veins of the legs and are also a risk factor for development of venous disease.

Adhering to the fashion trends, a lot of people don't think that tight underwear causes compression of the veins at the level of the inguinal folds and corsets, the increase in intra-abdominal pressure, so do not wear them constantly. Also do not forget that the danger of wearing high heels, boots, uncomfortable arch.

Repeated pregnancy also is a proven risk factor for development of venous disease. The enlarged uterus contributes to increased intra-abdominal pressure, hormones, such as progesterone, exerts an adverse effect on the vein wall, destroying contains collagen and elastic fibres. Some diseases, such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis that occur with changing hormonal status. The risk of varicose veins, increases dramatically.

spider veins

Symptoms of varicose veins of the lower extremities

As you might guess from the title, the main visible symptom of varicose veins is considered to be saccular or cylindrical dilation of the surface veins.

Become retorta, protrude above the surface of the skin in the legs and feet. Varices maximally expressed after a hard or long workout. Very often varicose veins occur in childhood, in women during or after pregnancy.

In the early stages of varicose veins symptoms are few and non-specific. All signs of this stage are combined into a "syndrome of heavy legs". While concerns of increased fatigue, a feeling of weight in the legs, burning, mild swelling, the severity of which the maximum after exercise. You may also experience temporary swelling, pain and pain along the veins. At the same characterized by a small swelling of the ankles and the back of the foot, which occurs in the evening, especially after prolonged static load. Common symptom of edema, that is, that in the morning they are gone without a trace. For this phase do not have visible varicose veins. As a rule, most patients with varicose veins were found in the disease onset, the presence of certain characteristics. Therefore, timely access to the specialist is still in the initial stage of the disease, which will prevent further development of disease.

Special attention should be given to the issue of "vascular asterisks", which are an important symptom of venous insufficiency. "Spider veins," is a gossamer enhanced more than 0.1 mm capillaries visible through skin.

As a rule, women see these "stars" as a cosmetic defect, the men just don't notice. Indeed, in some cases, the manifestations dishormonal violations, abuses, sauna, Solarium, while avoiding high temperatures and the elimination of hormonal imbalance (for example, use of oral contraceptives) completely cure the disease. However, in most cases, the appearance of "spider veins" is the first and perhaps the only sign of overfilling of the superficial veins and development of varicose veins. So, even in the presence of a small section of the extended capillary of the network is necessary to consult with specialists.


Complications of varicose veins

Varicose veins - not only a cosmetic problem, but also a dangerous disease, mainly because of their complications. Incorrect or delayed treatment of evolving as formidable as thrombosis and thrombophlebitis, and bleeding from varices. Thrombosis (partial or complete occlusion of the target vein by a blood clot) or thrombophlebitis (inflammatory disease of the venous wall in thrombosis), which occurs suddenly, not connected with physical activity. The swelling spreads rapidly in the lower limb, which is coupled with a strong an arching pain. Can occur redness or bruising, local tenderness of the skin. In the case of separation of the clot with the blood that occurs in the blood vessels in the lungs, and in the case of a full or partial closure of the vessel, which can cause serious illness - pulmonary embolism. This complication is frequently lethal. If you suspect that these complications of varicose veins, you should immediately to a horizontal position, lift the leg, over the phone, contacting emergency medical aid. It is impossible to compress the leg muscles, for the use of ointments, to come on foot.

Considered dangerous and the injured region of the blood vessels, as this may cause severe bleeding. In this case, there is an urgent need to put in the leg above the bleeding tourniquet (medical or improvised), enough to ensure that the bleeding stops. Also I have to call an ambulance.

The detection of at least one of these symptoms is requires an examination of the phlebologist - specialist in diseases of the veins and, if necessary, consult other specialists, such as cardiologist, therapist, gynecologist.

The diagnosis of varicose veins

Turning to the doctor, you will probably be offered the following tests:

  • General analysis of blood. The number of erythrocytes and level of hemoglobin indicates the degree of thickening of the blood, the platelets can be assessed on the illness of system of blood clotting (tendency to thrombosis), increase in the number of white blood cells, which indicates inflammation (thrombophlebitis confirms).
  • The "gold" standard of diagnosis of varicose veins is considered to be the ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities, which are determined by the affected areas veins. This principle is based anatomic classification of varicose veins with an indication of the modified vessel. For example, the defeat of the great saphenous vein above or below the knee, small saphenous vein. Ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities is recommended for detection of the above signs of varicose veins, even with the emergence of "spider veins".
  • Rheovasography - method of determination of insufficiency of blood supply (power supply) of tissues to calculate rheographic index. On the basis of the indicator detected stage of the disease: compensation, subcompensation or decompensation.
  • When questionable data non-invasive methods resorted to surgical methods of investigation, e.g. venography (injection of a contrast agent to assess the status of the venous system).

Treatment of varicose veins

Treatment of varicose veins is a complex process, the duration of which depends on the degree of disease. Treatment procedures are divided into surgical and conservative (non-surgical).

Non-surgical treatment of varicose veins of the lower limbs gives good results only in the initial stages of the disease, when skin manifestations are not strongly expressed, and only a moderate reduction in ability to work. Conservative treatment is indicated if there are contraindications to surgical treatment. In addition, these techniques must necessarily be used in the postoperative period, to prevent a recurrence of the disease.

Conservative treatment includes reducing the severity of risk factors, appropriate exercise, elastic compression, drugs, and physical therapy. With the use of these measures together provides a good result. Along with a specialist needs to identify the risk factors of varicose veins, such as obesity, oral contraceptives, improper exercise, and try to influence them.

People who have risk factors for the development of varicose veins, including genetic predisposition, even in the absence of symptoms, it is necessary at least twice a year to consult with a phlebologist with by performing an ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities.

Elastic compression - a method of treatment of varicose veins by elastic bandaging or the use of medical knitwear. This creates a measured compression of muscles. This promotes better blood flow through the veins, prevents stagnation. For the artificial maintenance of the "ring" of Vienna no longer expand, it creates a thrombosis prophylaxis.

In all stages of the development of varicose veins recommended to use the drug is phlebotonics. Their activity is focused on the strengthening of the vein wall. The course of treatment lasts for 6 months or more. Also shown are medications that reduce blood viscosity - antiplatelet agents, anti-inflammatory drugs.

No folk remedies, which are herbs, not to compare the effectiveness of the listed medicines, therefore, you should never self-medicate. Treatment with medications should be used only on prescription. Local treatment, such as various ointments, gels is not recommended, because there is no thrombosis, thrombophlebitis.

Physiotherapy has no value. Use only as directed by your doctor, depending on the underlying problem. The use of physical methods in the home, which can lead to the development of complications (the accession of inflammation, separation of the thrombus). In the case of the correct tasks to the best effect diadynamic current, magnetic fields, electrophoresis, laser.


Varicose veins of the lower limbs - surgical disease, complete cure is only possible when surgical treatment. Depending on the location of the injury and the severity of the disease, which is to use the following methods of surgical treatment.

1. Phlebectomy - surgical removal of the varicose-expanded veins. The aim of the operation is the secretion of an abnormal closure of the blood to remove the main trunks of large or small saphenous veins and ligation of communication veins. This operation is contraindicated in:

  • serious accompanying diseases, where surgical intervention can greatly worsen the condition;
  • late varicose veins;
  • pregnancy;
  • the presence in the body of all the purulent process;
  • age.

2. Sclerotherapy - introduction in the vein of a specific substance (sclerosant) that causes the "products" of the vein wall to the termination of the flow of blood through it. The result of this is that there is no abnormal outflow of blood, eliminates cosmetic defects such as the vein collapses and becomes invisible. However, sclerotherapy is effective only if the expansion of the small branches of the main trunks, which limits its use at high severity process. The advantage of sclerotherapy is the lack of scars, the need for hospitalization. After the hardening of the blood vessels of the specific rehabilitation is needed.

3. Laser coagulation - a method based on the destruction of the vein wall with the warm laser exposure arising from the "glutino bonum est" venous lumen. Shown only if the extension of vessels of not more than 10 mm. The method, which is associated with anesthesia. Cosmetically better to phlebectomy, but after the vein removal requires early activation of the patient, and the long-term elastic compression.

The prevention of varicose veins

In today's world it is very important put for the prevention of varicose veins. Regular performance of simple procedures which will significantly reduce the risk for the occurrence and course of the disease:

  • On-site way of life is the basis of prevention, it is also important to change the longer the static load by walking, Running, Cycling, swimming, performing simple exercises in the workplace.
  • As much time as possible, that the feet are elevated.
  • To prevent the increase in body weight.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with the maximum size of the heel up to 4 cm, if necessary, use orthotics.
  • In the case of estrogen, e.g. oral contraceptives and pregnancy should undergo an ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities.