According to statistics, up to 20% of the population suffers from varicose veins of the lower extremities, while the disease occurs in women 2 times more often. It has been proven that women have additional predisposing factors that contribute to a decrease in vascular tone (pregnancy, taking estrogen-progestogen contraceptive drugs, imbalance of sex hormones).The types of treatment for leg veins in men and women do not differ, however, the frequency of postoperative relapses in women is higher due to the additional influence of hormones (estrogenic and progesterone effects).
Venous diseases of the legs should be treated by a phlebologist who deals with this particular pathology. Various methods of treating varicose veins are not radical, since they are not aimed at eliminating the main pathogenetic cause - the failure of the vein valve apparatus. Surgical and conservative treatment delays the progression of the disease for long periods. The relapse rate is high and reaches from 10 to 50% 5 years after surgery.
Treatment of varicose veins should be comprehensive. There are three groups of methods for eliminating varicose veins:
- are conservative.
Each type of treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages, a certain recurrence rate. The choice of the method is conditional, since the phlebologist often has to combine all three methods to achieve the most favorable outcome.
General manifestations characteristic of both men and women
The symptoms of varicose veins begin with the appearance of such functional disorders as a feeling of heaviness in the legs, swelling of the ankle joints at the end of the working day. Spider veins first form on the skin of the legs.
Spider veins are one of the first symptoms of varicose veins in the legs.
The main signs of the disease - the association of varicose veins, appear several years after the onset of the disease.
If untreated at this stage, symptoms such as cramps in the calf muscles, itching of the skin on the legs occur.
Signs of trophic disorders: skin pigmentation in the lower third of the leg, cyanosis, sclerotic changes in the subcutaneous tissue, eczema, against which a trophic ulcer is formed.
Typical symptoms of varicose veins in women
- Painful symptoms appear cyclically, intensify before menstruation, which is associated with a change in the level of sex hormones;
- during pregnancy, the signs of varicose veins that have arisen after childbirth may disappear;
- in the second half of the menstrual cycle, due to the action of progesterone, the diameter of the varicose veins increases, so the symptoms of swelling and heaviness in the legs are more pronounced;
- signs of varicose veins are exacerbated during hormone therapy.
Now let's talk about therapy methods.
Radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser coagulation
Radiofrequency Vein Ablation
The method is based on the introduction under ultrasound control of a special disposable catheter into the lumen of the dilated vein.
The catheter is equipped with a special electrode, the working part of which heats up to 120 degrees under the influence of radio frequency radiation. The advancement of the catheter along the vein leads to adhesion or "sealing" of the vascular wall. Obliterated veins are turned off from the circulatory system of the legs.
Endovenous laser coagulation
The operation technique consists of puncture of the affected vein and insertion of a laser light guide into its lumen under ultrasound guidance. Under the action of laser radiation, coagulation of the proteins of the vascular wall occurs, as a result of which the vein collapses and after a while is overgrown with connective tissue.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and endovenous laser obliteration (EVLO) are relatively new treatments for varicose veins in the legs. Despite the differences in the execution technique, they have common characteristics.
Advantages and disadvantages of RFA and EVLO
|Do not require hospitalization||High Price|
|Speed of execution (from 30 minutes to 1 hour)||Relapse rate up to 10%|
|Painless||Inability to perform the procedure with some anatomical features of the veins (severe vascular tortuosity)|
|Performed under local anesthesia|
|Lack of postoperative scar (cosmetic effect desired for women)|
|Short rehabilitation periods|
RFA or EVLO is chosen by women who want to treat varicose veins on an outpatient basis with minimal restriction of physical activity in the postoperative period and while maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the legs.
A special drug is injected into the lumen of the affected segment of the vein, which has a sclerosing ("gluing") effect on the vascular wall. The sclerosing agent can be used in liquid form or as a foam. Foam sclerotherapy should be preferred due to the larger area of contact of the substance with the vein wall.
Advantages and disadvantages of phlebosclerotherapy:
|No postoperative scar||Possible long-term skin pigmentation at the puncture site (up to 2 years)|
|On an outpatient basis||In rare cases, postoperative venous inflammation (phlebitis)|
|The operation is performed without anesthesia||Swelling and redness of the tissues within 2 days after the procedure|
|Manipulation is practically painless (slight burning sensation at the puncture site)||Allergic reaction in case of individual drug intolerance|
|In 20% of cases, spider veins appear on the legs. Relapse rate up to 50%|
The recurrence of varicose veins after sclerotherapy depends on the lumen of the affected vessel - the wider the lumen, the higher the risk of recanalization in it. Sclerotherapy is chosen in the treatment of recurrent varicose veins after surgical phlebectomy.
Surgery is a more radical way to eliminate varicose veins. The principles of surgical treatment are to eliminate the pathological discharge of blood from deep into the superficial veins of the legs and to remove the dilated vessels themselves. Stages of combined phlebectomy:
- Intersection and ligation of the mouth of the great saphenous vein (incision in the groin area) or small saphenous vein (incision in the popliteal fossa);
- Removal of the trunks of varicose veins. It is performed using a special metal probe that pulls the vein into the skin incision.
Advantages and Disadvantages
|Radical||Hospitalization 5 to 7 days|
|Ability to perform surgery at any stage of the disease||Scar on the legs|
|Spinal or general anesthesiaInjury to surrounding tissues when the vein is pulledPossible complications: bleeding, wound infectionRelapse rate up to 20%|
It is preferable to treat operatively with the trunk type of lesion, when varicose deformity of the large or small saphenous veins occurs over a considerable extent. And also when there are signs of trophic disorders of soft tissues and symptoms of decompensation of venous insufficiency.
Miniphlebectomy is a separate variant of surgery, in which it is possible to treat varicose veins of the legs in the initial stages. It is more often used in the presence of single varicose veins on the legs. A puncture of the skin is performed over the pathological formation and with the help of a hook the vein is pulled and crossed. The operation does not require general anesthesia or skin stitches.
It is necessary to start treating varicose veins on the legs with the use of medication and compression therapy.Prescribing drugs that improve blood circulation and wearing medical compression hosiery are the main conditions that determine the outcome of any surgery on the veins of the legs.
It is necessary to treat varicose veins on the legs with phlebotonic and antiplatelet drugs for a long time in a continuous mode or in the form of repeated courses.
Medicines relieve symptoms of venous insufficiency, are used as preoperative preparation and postoperative rehabilitation.
Leg elastic compression is the leading method of treatment in cases when surgery is contraindicated. As compression means, you can use elastic bandages and special medical knitwear: stockings, knee-highs, tights. Medical products are highly durable, retain the original level of compression for a long time, are comfortable to wear, which is important for women.
There are 4 classes of stretch knit, depending on the degree of compression. It is recommended to treat varicose veins using class 2 products in the absence of disease progression for up to 6 months and with further use during physical exertion or with prolonged stay on the legs. If there are signs of damage to the valves of the deep veins or severe symptoms of impaired lymph outflow, then class 3 knitwear is prescribed until the progression of varicose veins stops.
The healing effect of compression hosiery is due to:
- by a decrease in the volume of the vein, which leads to less discharge of blood into the varicose vessels;
- an increase in the absorption of tissue fluid into the bloodstream, due to which the signs of swelling and symptoms of heaviness in the legs disappear;
- improve blood flow, which prevents blood clots.
How to treat varicose veins in women
The correct answer to the question of how to treat varicose veins on the legs in women is the possibility of a high-quality and fulfilling life. After all, it's not a secret for anyone that ignoring medical measures and consultations with a doctor leads to disastrous consequences: disability, the occurrence of trophic ulcers, thrombosis, and the worst option is death.
The clinical picture of varicose veins
As medical statistics show, the cause of varicose veins is a hereditary factor, therefore, knowing the problem of your relatives, it is necessary to prevent the disease from a young age.
In addition, doctors identify the causes of varicose veins in women:
- hormonal imbalance;
- unhealthy diet, excessive consumption of fatty foods;
- high cholesterol;
- restructuring of the body during menopause;
- staying in one position for a long time at work or at home;
- strong physical activity;
- passive lifestyle, minimal physical activity.
Each of the listed factors affects the normal functioning of the blood in the lower extremities, which provokes the development of the disease.
It is important to remember that the causes of varicose veins in women are often squeezing clothing, high heels and tight underwear.
Unfortunately, not all women give due importance to symptoms at the initial stage of the disease. Symptoms of varicose veins are attributed to tired feet, heat, uncomfortable shoes, squeezing trousers. It is early diagnosis that allows you to choose an effective treatment and quickly save a woman from the problem.
A woman may feel the following signs of varicose veins:
- feet, the lower parts of the legs begin to swell in the evening, while swelling can appear both on two legs and on one;
- an incredible burning sensation in the calf part of the leg;
- a fine mesh of blood vessels may form on the skin;
- skin pigmentation occurs, spider veins appear in the lower leg;
- cramps may occur at night;
- veins rise to the surface of the muscle, and any touch of them causes pain.
The appearance of this disease may be accompanied by a change in the structure of the skin, it will be denser, and abrasions and bruises from even a minor blow often appear on it.
A woman can diagnose varicose veins in her legs at an early stage, it is her attentiveness to her body that will allow to start treatment on time and avoid serious complications.
Modern methods of treatment
Choosing a method of treatment, the doctor will first of all focus on the cause that caused the varicose veins. It is the elimination of pathological changes that will cure the disease.
Varicose veins on the legs in women can be treated in several ways:
- Surgical intervention.
- Medication therapy.
Drug therapy includes a wide range of drugs that help cope with the disease at various stages of its course. The simplest and most effective way is to use ointments. Many of the presented ointments can eliminate several symptoms at once, including pain.
Medicines are selected individually only by the attending physician, but they are necessarily included in the following groups:
- Phlebotonics. The drugs are excellent for treating swelling and preventing the onset of seizures at night.
- Analgesics. They are used in case of severe pain syndrome.
- Aspirin-based preparations. They help to thin the blood by preventing blood clots from reoccurring.
- Vitamin complexes containing vitamin E.
If in the treatment of varicose veins of the legs it is necessary to use a surgical method, the doctor can offer several options for surgical intervention:
- Phlebectomy. The operation is performed on a diseased limb, a vein deformed by varicose veins is surgically removed.
- Endovenous laser coagulation. This is an innovative method that allows you to obliterate varicose veins. Laser treatment is gaining more and more popularity as it is less traumatic.
- Use of radio frequencies for coagulation. Such an operation is performed in an outpatient setting, the patient does not even need hospitalization.
- Sclerotherapy. This method allows damaged veins to be glued together using special substances that are injected inside.
Women's compression hosiery is also important in treatment. It is used as an adjunct and as a prophylaxis. There are many benefits to wearing compression garments and healing is faster.
Among the main advantages of such underwear, doctors name the following:
- reducing the stress on the inflamed vessels;
- normalization of blood circulation in the limb;
- minimizing the risk of blood clots;
- complete safety and no side effects.
Compression garments and elastic bandages are allowed only during the daytime, legs should be resting at night.
What does traditional medicine offer?
Traditional medicine has a lot of recipes that help to cope with the disease. But it is worth remembering that any of the recipes should be used in complex therapy and only after consultation with the attending physician. Self-medication can be fatal or cause more serious complications.
There are such folk recipes for the treatment of varicose veins:
- Butter and garlic ointment can be used as a compress to relieve puffiness and pain. Chopped garlic is mixed with oil and applied to the leg, left overnight.
- Nettle tincture can be used to relieve inflammation from the inside. 2 tablespoons of chopped nettle is poured with a glass of boiling water and insisted. You need to drink the resulting product in 50 ml for 2 weeks.
- Pour the ground nutmeg with a glass of boiling water and add a spoonful of honey. All this must be drunk before meals in an hour.
- Horse chestnut tincture is a good choice. To prepare it, you will need 50 grams of crushed chestnut and 250 ml of vodka. You need to insist the remedy for 14 days, stirring it constantly.
It is important to remember that self-medication or the use of only folk recipes can fatally end or bring more serious complications.
Complications that may occur if untreated
Why are varicose veins on the legs dangerous in women? What are the consequences of improper treatment?
This disease is not a cosmetic problem and therefore requires immediate and professional treatment.
Experts identify the following possible complications and consequences:
- Any delay in treatment may cause bleeding, thrombosis or partial obstruction of the vein.
- Ignoring medical help can cause the development of a trophic ulcer, thrombophlebitis.
- If blood does not systematically circulate through the vein, venous insufficiency may develop.
- About 1% of all patients get a disability or death.
For varicose veins of the lower extremities, treatment should be comprehensive, regular and professional. It is worth remembering that life and health always depends on the patient himself.
Do you know everything about how to properly treat varicose veins in women?
Varicose veins - a disease of the veins of the lower extremities, in which the expansion of the saphenous veins develops in people who have not previously suffered from thrombosis. The causes of the disease have not yet been established, and therefore the conservative treatment of varicose veins is not aimed at completely eradicating the disease, but at eliminating its symptoms.
Even with the help of radical surgery, it is not always possible to achieve a complete recovery.
Nevertheless, therapy of varicose veins is necessary, as it tends to progress and develop furthercomplications: thrombophlebitis, trophic ulcers, bleeding.
Causes and symptoms
According to statistics,varicose veins are diagnosed in women 4 times more oftenthan in men. Since pregnancy is a traditional risk factor for the development of varicose veins. Varicose veins during pregnancy are caused by the influence of a combination of factors on the woman's body:
- increase in circulating blood volume;
- changes in hormonal levels, namely, an increase in progesterone levels;
- an increase in the volume of the uterus, which compresses the retroperitoneal veins;
- increased intra-abdominal pressure during labor.
Varicose veins during pregnancy develops in the first months, showing clinical symptoms in the middle of the second and early third trimester.
The second unfavorable factor provoking the disease is an increase in body mass in women during menopause, which is also due to the influence of hormones.Female hormones - estrogens, progesterone reduce venous tone.
The third cause of varicose veins in women. Thelifestyleis of no small importance in the onset and development of the disease. According to statistics, the frequency of varicose veins in women with sedentary work is observed in 37%. Among persons forced to be in an upright position for a long time (teachers, cooks, hairdressers, salespeople) - in 63%. For comparison, in men, these data are three times lower.
The influence of heredity on the development of the disease is not fully understood, however, relatives suffering from this disease were identified in 25% of patients.
Signs of leg varicose veins in women
The beginning of varicose veins can proceed in different ways:
- The appearance of subcutaneous varicose veins.
- The appearance of varix - venous nodes that shine through the surface of the skin, appearing in the form of snakes.
Moreover, the first signs of varicose veins are not accompanied by other symptoms,pronounced manifestations of the disease develop after several years.
Symptoms of varicose veins in women:
- After 3 - 5 years- “tired legs” syndrome: a feeling of heaviness, buzzing, fullness in the legs, especially in the evening after a hard day. After resting in an upright position with raised legs, the symptoms of the disease disappear on their own.
- After 5 - 10 years- trophic disorders: darkening, thinning of the skin, ulceration.
- After 10 - 15 years- persistent edema, localized most often in the lower leg region, not rising above the knee. The spread of edema to the thigh indicates thrombosis.
During pregnancy, the symptoms of varicose veins develop much faster. As the gestation period increases and the uterus grows, there is a feeling of pain and heaviness in the legs, turning into edema of the lower leg.
How to treat varicose veins in women?
Successful treatment of varicose veins of the legs should solve the following tasks:
- elimination of varicose syndrome;
- elimination of disease symptoms;
- relapse prevention.
The first problem is solved by phlebosclerosis therapy or surgery.
Conservative therapy is aimed at eliminating the symptoms of varicose veins (drug treatment + compression) and prevention (physiotherapy exercises, elastic compression).
In the early stages of the disease, treatment is only conservative:
- Drug therapy in tablets - phleboprotectors and anticoagulants (as prescribed by a doctor).
- Local application of venotonic ointments and gels.
- Elastic compression.
- Physiotherapy and gymnastics.
- Healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition.
Compressionconservative therapy is mandatoryat all stages of varicose veins, with its help it is possible to eliminate blood stagnation, as well as to recreate favorable conditions for vascular microcirculation. Depending on the degree of varicose veins, jerseys withoptimal pressureare selected. At the initial stages of the disease, compression of the 1st class is used, with varicose veins with the syndrome of "tired legs" - 2nd class, with complicated course - 3rd class.
Treatment of varicose veins on the legs in women is carried outcourses of 2 - 3 months twice a year. With varicose veins, phleboprotective drugs are used, which eliminate the manifestations of the disease, increase the tone of the veins, improve vascular microcirculation, and prevent the formation of an inflammatory process in the vascular wall.
In phlebological practice, medicines based on flavonoids(substances contained in plant organisms) - derivatives of rutin, diosmin and hesperidin - are used successfully.
Topical ointments and gels are used to quickly relieve symptoms.
Pharmacological treatment does not cure the sick, but slows the progression of the disease.
Many women are interested in how to treat varicose veins in women at home? Therapeutic exercises, herbal medicine and some recommendations on a healthy lifestyle for patients with varicose veins will help alleviate the symptoms of the disease and prevent its further development.
Simple exercises for varicose veins should be done every morning and evening:
- Lying on your back, raise your legs vertically, leaning them against the wall at an angle of 90 °. Keep them in this position for 3 minutes, breathe slowly with your chest, and not your stomach.
- In a supine position, perform a bicycle, 3 - 5 minutes.
- Standing, raise with two feet on toes 1 cm from the floor and go down. Perform 30 times in two approaches.
- Standing, alternately lift one heel off the floor, then the other, at an angle not higher than 45 °. Start with 15 minutes daily, extending up to 30 minutes.
Take time to walk every day, at least 30 minutes. It is useful to go to the pool once a week for a swim.