With varicose veins, the veins of various organs (esophagus, spermatic cord - varicocele, rectum - hemorrhoids) can be affected, but varicose veins of the legs are most common.
What is it?
Varicose veins, or varicose veins (from Lat.varix- knot, swelling) - persistent and irreversible expansion and lengthening of the veins (vessels carrying blood to the heart) of the lower extremities with thinning of the venous wall and formation"Nodes" as a result of gross pathology of the venous walls, as well as insufficiency of their valves due to a genetic defect.
Since ancient times, doctors such as Hippocrates, Avicenna, Galen and Paracelsus have tried to treat varicose veins, but to no avail. The famous Italian anatomist and physician Marcello Malpighi, who discovered the mechanisms of capillary circulation more than 300 years ago, devoted many years to the study of the disease.
Varicose veins are a fairly common disease. Nowadays, every third woman and every tenth man suffer from varicose veins, and most often the disease begins at the working age at 30-40 years. The more time a modern person spends in a sitting position at a computer or in a car, the higher the risk of developing varicose veins. This problem is very relevant these days.
Why does this happen?
Varicose veins occur not only in the lower extremities, there is also varicose veins of the stomach and esophagus, pelvic veins, testicular veins and spermatic cord - varicocele. Varicose veins of the small pelvis are one of the causes of hemorrhoids, and varicocele threatens with possible infertility, and surgical intervention is required to prevent this. However, the most common varicose veins of the lower extremities.
The main reasons for the development of varicose veins of the lower extremities are:
- heredity - people in whose pedigree cases of varicose veins of the legs are frequent are at risk;
- gender: in women, pregnancy provokes varicose veins and taking hormonal drugs;
- increased venous pressure (sedentary lifestyle, static loads in an upright position, obesity).
These causes of varicose veins contribute not only to varicose veins, increased venous pressure or disruption of the normal functioning of the venous valves. The consequence of the disease is incorrect, pathological blood flow in the veins of the lower extremities - refluxes (pathological, reverse flow of venous blood from deep veins to superficial). They also cause aggravation of the disease over time, since they increase the pressure on the venous system many times over. Therefore, the features of hemodynamics with varicose veins are both a consequence of the disease and its cause. A vicious circle arises.
Correct blood flow is when blood flows through the veins of the legs from bottom to top, that is, against the action of gravity. This is achieved through several mechanisms: the pressure of blood from the arteries (the smallest contribution), the contraction of the leg muscles during movement (this acts as a pump), and the presence of valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing back. It is the inability of these valves to perform their function that causes disruption of venous blood flow, which leads to overstretching of the veins. As a result, the blood flow becomes chaotic, the blood stagnates in the veins of the lower extremities, especially in the subcutaneous ones, the pressure in them increases so much that the walls of the vessel cannot withstand and begin to expand and thin out.
People who are on their feet for a long time (doctors, sellers, hairdressers) have a very high risk of developing varicose veins of the legs.
In women, the causes of varicose veins can be associated with hormonal imbalance (for example, incorrectly selected hormonal contraception). In addition, varicose veins of the small pelvis, as well as varicose veins of the lower extremities, often develop during pregnancy, when the pressure of the growing uterus on the veins of the abdominal cavity gradually increases, which, in turn, makes it difficult for blood to flow through the veins of the legs.
In addition, an increase in intra-abdominal pressure during heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, chronic constipation and so on also leads to malfunction of the venous valves.
Finally, vein dysfunctions are quite common in the elderly.
What happens when this happens?
The first symptoms of varicose veins are swelling of the legs towards the end of the day, a feeling of heaviness and fullness in the calves, which appears during prolonged sitting or standing. A characteristic feature of varicose veins is the disappearance or significant reduction of these symptoms when walking and after a night's rest.
Later, there are bursting pains in the calves, a feeling of heat in the legs and night cramps in the calf muscles. In addition, small blue-red vascular "stars" appear on the legs, dark blue intradermal veins become visible, and, finally, saphenous veins expand, which look like bunches of overripe red grapes.
If varicose veins are started, eczema may develop in the affected areas.
So, if you notice the initial symptoms of varicose veins, in the near future contact a phlebologist - a specialist in venous diseases.
The success of the treatment of varicose veins directly depends on the stage at which the treatment is started. The sooner you see a phlebologist, the easier the treatment will be and the lower the risk of complications.
After the initial examination, the doctor will prescribe one or another type of instrumental examination. Doppler ultrasound is usually sufficient to make a diagnosis. However, if the need arises, radionuclide and radiopaque methods are also used - special substances are introduced into the bloodstream and their distribution through the vessels is examined.
Treatment of varicose veins
How varicose veins are treated !? There are three ways to treat varicose veins: by performing a surgical operation on varicose veins, using sclerotherapy or medication. In addition, physiotherapy exercises and medical knitwear are actively used in the treatment of varicose veins.
The essence of sclerotherapy consists in injecting special drugs into the veins, causing the walls of the vessel to stick together and close its lumen.
In the surgical treatment of varicose veins, the affected veins are simply removed. It is important to note that the removal of the saphenous veins does not interfere with blood flow and is safe for the body. Only 10 percent of the blood normally flows through the superficial veins that affect varicose veins. The rest of the load is taken over by the deep veins of the legs. And therefore, after the operation to remove varicose veins, in most cases, these vessels can easily compensate for the function of the superficial veins.
Remember: varicose veins can and should be treated, because in the absence of treatment, it is fraught with unpleasant complications.