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

In most people, varicose veins are mainly associated with large, painful blue and purple nodules that disfigure the legs of both sexes. But what looks so ugly is a disease that has already developed, even neglected. The first stages of the disease are practically invisible to others and are often not taken seriously by the patients themselves.

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

In the event that the disease progresses, the blood supply to the lower extremities deteriorates constantly. This will make the tissues no longer receive the necessary amount of oxygen and nutrients, since the vessels will become clogged, twisted and will cease to perform their functions. The result will be serious problems, including tissue death and the development of gangrene. And that is amputation and disability. Therefore, varicose veins require an attentive attitude and the fastest possible response. Only in the case of an early start of the correct treatment will it be possible to avoid not only serious consequences, but also to get rid of ugly and interfering protruding veins in 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 constant standing, hereditary predisposition or love for uncomfortable high-heeled shoes.

The real reason for the formation of varicose veins is the violation of the venous flow. In the human body, blood circulates, that is, it constantly circulates through the circulatory system. Reaching the lower extremities, the blood cannot return on its own, it needs a "pump". Their role is played by special venous valves.

If they start doing their job poorly, there is a so-called reflux - a reflux of the blood due to the failure of the valves. These violations are caused by problems with the physiological balance between muscle cells, elastic fibers in blood vessel walls and collagen. When the blood comes back, it penetrates the tissues, leading to the formation of chronic venous insufficiency.

In this case, edema appears and, as the blood components penetrate the tissue, fluid stagnation (stasis) occurs and the microcirculation is disturbed. The cells gradually die and a trophic ulcer appears at the site of the blood accumulation. They are painful and long-term tissue defects that do not heal and open the door to infections and the emergence of even more dangerous health problems.

The first signs, phases and their symptoms

manifestations of varicose veins in the legs

The symptoms of varicose veins are directly related to their stages.

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

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-heeled shoes and spend more and more time standing.

Varicose veins can develop in youth, often triggered in 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 childbirth.

In the beginning, the symptoms of the disease are difficult to distinguish, they are difficult to differentiate from other problems.

Minor pain in the calves is usually noticed first, especially after walking, which is usually attributed to normal fatigue. The patient may complain that he gets tired quickly, cannot walk long distances as before. He is bothered by convulsions, burning sensations, swelling, often intensifying at night, at night there is swelling, a feeling of heaviness, legs "full of lead".

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

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

  • The first- defeat of a small number of vessels, mainly in the lower legs, with complaints of pain, tiredness, slight manifestation of the pattern of veins. The treatment initiated at this stage is especially effective.
  • The second- addition of symptoms of impaired venous flow: edema, fluid stagnation, appearance of mild pain in the calves and feet. A common symptom is extreme tiredness at the end of the workday.
  • Third- development of venous valve failure. The formation of twisted, twisted veins, severe swelling, skin discoloration for cyanosis, an emerging trend for the formation of trophic ulcers. One characteristic is the appearance of pain even with small physical efforts in the legs.
  • Bedroom- convoluted and convex blue veins visible under the skin, the formation of knots that make the skin of the extremities in relief, the presence of trophic ulcers that do not heal. At this stage, only an urgent surgical intervention can help.

It is necessary to treat varicose veins as early as possible and not resort to self-activity, but seek the help of a specialist - a phlebologist. He will assess the condition of the vessels, diagnose and prescribe the correct treatment. Most of the time, 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 ultrasonography of the vessels of the lower extremities is considered the best method. It allows to have a complete view of the state of the veins in the legs, including the deep ones, to assess the level of blood flow, does not cause discomfort or pain to the patient, and also contributes to the correct selection and prescription of the ideal treatment method.

Drug 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 them is thrombophlebitis, that is, an inflammatory process in the walls of blood vessels. With it, the risk of thrombosis increases sharply, and the thrombus is already a direct threat not only to the health, but also to the patient's life. A "plucked" blood clot can migrate to vital organs and cause potentially fatal conditions, such as pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction or stroke.

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

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

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

Traditional methods for the disease

Traditional medicine treats varicose veins in the legs in the following ways:

  1. Green tomato compresses.This seemingly strange remedy perfectly helps to alleviate inflammation, vascular swelling and edema. Green tomatoes cut in 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 problems in the veins, so it can also be made at home. Rubbing the legs with 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 blood vessel walls.

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

Surgical intervention

surgery for varicose veins in the legs

The essence of the operation is to bandage and remove the pathologically altered veins.

Operative procedures for varicose veins are a frequent occurrence, 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 obliterating (clogging) diseased vessels using a directed laser beam. Over time, the vessel ceases to function, sclerosis and dissolves. The technique is considered economical, as it does not require incisions, hospitalization and a long recovery period. The procedure has an excellent cosmetic effect.
  • Radio frequency coagulation- a way to eliminate reflux in the great or small saphenous vein. In terms of effectiveness, it is comparable to phlebectomy, but does not require a rehabilitation period and is easier to tolerate by patients.
  • Sclerotherapy.Method in which a special drug is injected into a vein under the control of an ultrasound device, leading to the gluing of the vein.

Treatment prognosis and possible complications

Varicose veins in 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. The detachment and migration of a blood clot threatens a person with unexpected death, since 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 cause disability.

The second terrible threat that varicose veins bring is the deprivation of mobility and disability. If the disease is not treated, it can lead to the development of complete blockage of the leg veins, in which gangrene will develop, and doctors will have no other option to save the patient's life than amputation of one limb or both legs.

These dire consequences can only be avoided with timely access to medical help and strict adherence to medical prescriptions. The treatment started at the right time allows you to avoid terrible complications and 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 strikes them personally.

Preventive measures to prevent varicose veins are as follows:

  1. Moderate physical activity. For vascular health, both overload and sitting passively in immobile positions, which cause blood stagnation in the lower extremities, are equally harmful.
  2. Give up bad habits - smoking and drinking alcohol. They have an extremely negative effect on the condition of the veins.
  3. Wear comfortable medium-heeled shoes, no more than 5-6 cm in height.
  4. Use of prophylactic compression stockings, if necessary, in case of "standing" work or burdened heredity, during pregnancy and childbirth.
  5. Fighting excess weight. Significant body weight is one of the factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins.

Following these simple rules will help to keep your veins strong and healthy and your legs beautiful and slender.