This is a deformation and disruption of the normal functioning of the veins in the legs. In a normal state, the blood in the veins moves from bottom to top, this is achieved through contractions of the heart, the coordinated work of the elastic walls of the vessel, muscles around the vessel and the valve in the vein. This valve allows blood to flow upward and prevents flow in the opposite direction. In case of violations, the walls of the vessel expand, the valve gap diverges, and the blood can partially move in the opposite direction, creating a counterflow, expanding the vessel walls even more and weakening the valve. Varicose veins appear. The disease is extremely common among people over 30 years of age, and most often women suffer from it.
Causes and prevention of varicose veins of the lower extremities
The causes of varicose veins lie in most cases in a sedentary lifestyle: we are in a static position for a long time (especially sitting), we do not give the necessary load to the muscles. The following risk factors may also affect:
- overly tight clothing (pants, knee-highs),
- uncomfortable shoes (especially high heels),
- hormonal imbalance,
- frequent hot baths, sauna visits,
- long-term serious physical activity, lifting weights,
The main prevention of varicose veins is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even if you have a sedentary job, try not to sit still for several hours in a row: get up, stretch your legs, walk more; and do not forget about a balanced diet, which, along with moderate physical activity, will save you from many diseases.
Pregnancy is also one of the major risk factors for varicose veins. But the genetic predisposition is still being studied, there are even a number of studies that refute it.
The disease can develop very slowly: over years or even decades. The symptoms of the initial stage are varied, but for convenience they are combined into a certain complex under a general feeling of heaviness in the legs:
- tired legs without serious stress,
- sore veins,
- night cramps in calves,
- pulling sensations in the legs.
If you do not track the symptoms of varicose veins at the initial stage, the vein will be deformed more and more. In the evenings, swelling in the feet and ankles will begin to appear, passing by the morning; spider veins will become visible, and then swollen veins and nodules on them will be felt. If you do not turn to a specialist at this stage, then in addition to an obvious decrease in the quality of life, an obvious pain syndrome, a person risks getting skin pigmentation and trophic ulcers. The further course of varicose veins brings complications such as bleeding from the venous nodes and the risk of developing such a serious disease as thrombosis, which can be fatal without referral to a specialist.
The diagnosis of varicose veins is quite simple - it is a survey, examination of the patient and an ultrasound scan, which will show the affected area of the vein and the degree of damage to select the optimal treatment. If for some reason (for example, when the damaged veins are deeply located), the ultrasound does not give all the necessary information, then the specialist will conduct an additional examination - phlebography - the introduction of a contrast agent into the vein, which will show the smallest changes in the vein along the blood flow under X-rays.
Treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities
Non-surgical treatment of varicose veins (special physical exercises, massage, wearing compression underwear, taking medications to strengthen the walls of blood vessels) will help only at the initial stage. But, unfortunately, very few patients go to a specialist at this time. Perhaps due to such a widespread prevalence of the disease, many either rely on traditional methods of treatment that have not proven their effectiveness and are missing precious time, or they resign themselves to varicose veins up to an unbearable pain syndrome, signaling an advanced stage.
Surgical treatment of varicose veins, like any other surgical intervention, requires a highly qualified team of doctors who are leading the patient. After all, serious contraindications can be found for the operation, so trust your health only to experienced specialists in well-equipped medical centers.
For our patients, we are ready to provide all known, clinically proven methods of treatment: from conservative (non-surgical) to operative. Among the most effective are:
- laser coagulation (removal by laser, that is, by heat exposure of areas of dilated vessels) - this method is suitable for small vessels and for removing spider veins located near the skin surface;
- sclerotherapy (injecting a special substance into the vein that safely clogs it) - this method is suitable only for peripheral, small vessels;
- phlebectomy is a surgical removal of the affected area of a vein; it is used in advanced stages of the disease in large veins;
- radio frequency coagulation.
The choice of treatment method depends on many factors (neglect of varicose veins, the patient's condition, contraindications to manipulations). Specialists try to provide the patient with the most detailed information about his condition, listen to the wishes and decide on the method of treatment appropriate to the specific situation.