Varicose veins: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Varices, or varicose veins is pathological changes in veins, accompanied by their expansion, increase in length, formation of meanders and tangles in the form of nodes, which leads to the failure of valves and blood flow disorders. Varicose veins is one of the most common problems of blood vessels.

varicose veins of the extremities

Veins are blood vessels that return blood from tissues to heart. Arteries, on the other hand, carry blood from the heart to the body. Unlike arteries, veins have very little muscle. To prevent the back flow of blood veins have a series of one-way valves that keeps blood from flowing in one direction towards the heart.

Varicose veins usually develop in the legs. The veins in the feet often stick out. The most common form of varicose veins progresses in one or both of two large veins, at the bottom, near the surface of the feet. This condition occurs more often in women than in men. Varicose veins usually develop between the ages of 30 to 60 years and, as a rule, with age escalates. It develops slowly, but then rapidly progresses.

Pregnancy is not the cause of varicose veins, but varicose can develop or worsen during pregnancy. This is due to the increased pressure of the uterus on the pelvic veins and the veins of the lower extremities, increasing blood volume and changing hormones.

Veins that lie just under the skin's surface, referred to as "superficial veins", and veins that are deep within the muscle, called the "deep veins". Other veins include the superficial and deep veins, allowing blood to flow between them.

Superficial veins in the legs are the most common place for varicose veins, which occurs mainly due to poor transitions of a vein in the upper thigh, below the knee and in the calf muscle. However, they can occur in other areas of the body such as the pelvis and rectum (hemorrhoids).

Causes of varicose veins (varicose veins)

The weakened walls of the veins in people of age can lose their elasticity. This weakening of the venous walls may lead to their expansion.

  • The valve failure. When the veins of a man stretched, valves in the veins are damaged. If the walls of the veins weakened and stretched, the valves apart and can no longer keep blood flowing upward and may stagnate in the veins.
  • Damage veins. Damage can occur due to trauma, blood clots or of inflammation. If there are problems in the deep veins, the person usually sore and swollen feet. Swollen veins on the surface can be a sign of damage to the deep veins. Varicose veins on the surface of the legs is not associated with dangerous blood clots that can travel to heart or lungs and cause an obstruction (embolism). Any clot that is formed near the surface of the body, as a rule, will be small. It could be inflammation, but the clot does not seriously threaten human health.

A number of factors contribute to the development of varicose veins. These include:

causes of varicose veins
  • genetic predisposition to development of varicose veins;
  • hormonal factors;
  • weight;
  • pregnancy;
  • cardiovascular problems such as blood clots (thrombosis);
  • injury or inflammation of the veins;
  • chronic constipation can contribute to the development of rectal varicose veins (haemorrhoids).

The lifestyle factors also play an important role, and people who for long periods of time working, up standing, - are at greater risk of developing varicose veins. This, for example, nurses, flight attendants and teachers.

Symptoms of varicose veins (varicose veins)

Signs and symptoms of varicose veins are easy to recognize. As a rule, they include:

  • Pain. Foot can hurt to be the feeling heavy and overloaded, if the person is sitting or standing for long period;
  • Bulging veins. Veins may appear bulging or twisted in part or throughout the length of the legs, or may be only a small the contours of bluish veins. If varicose veins are severe, the skin covering the feet of the patient may swell, become dry and irritated. And within a few years in the lower leg, it will become brownish color;
  • Itching. The skin over the vein becomes dry and irritated;
  • Inflammation of the veins. After long periods of sitting and standing section of vein can be filled with blood and veins become swollen, hard, red and weak. This is a common condition called "phlebitis";
  • Bleeding. Rarely, but varicose veins can occur as a result of injuries, and when they are large, they are visible near the surface of the body and often covered with a thin skin;
  • Ulcers. This open sores, which usually appear near the ankle, when can also be the obvious tumor;
  • Swelling in the legs.

Common symptoms can include:

  • bulging or twisted veins;
  • pain in the affected areas, especially after sitting or standing for long period;
  • a feeling of heaviness and muscle fatigue in the legs;
  • itching around the affected veins;
  • cramps in the legs at rest;
  • some women during menstruation are experiencing increased symptoms.

Diagnosis of varicose veins (varicose veins)

Doctors often diagnose varicose veins based on only physical examination of the patient. Sometimes used tests or procedures to find out the extent of the problem or to rule out other conditions.

If a person has varicose veins, it can refer to a vascular surgeon. These doctors spetsializiruyutsya on the blood vessels. You can also consult a dermatologist - a doctor who specializiruetsya on skin diseases.

varicose veins of the extremities diagnosis
  • Physical examination. To test for the presence of varicose veins in the legs, the doctor will watch the legs when a person stands, or when he sits, legs dangling. He can ask the patient about the signs and symptoms, including pain.
  • Ultrasonic dopplerography. Your doctor may recommend a Doppler to check blood flow in the veins and look for blood clots. Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of the body of the patient. During this test a handheld device placed on the affected area of the patient's body. The device sends and receives sound waves. A computer converts sound waves into a picture of blood flow in arteries and veins.
  • The angiogram. Your doctor may recommend an angiogram to get a more detailed look at blood flow in the veins. For this procedure, a vein of the patient to inject a dye that highlights the vein on x-rays. Angiography can help your doctor confirm whether patient - varicose veins or other disease.

Treatment of varicose veins (varicose veins)

Treatment may not be medically necessary if the symptoms are not problematic. However, some people may want treatment for varicose veins for cosmetic reasons, because they are dissatisfied with their appearance.

  • Non-surgical treatment. If varicose veins are small, and if it does not cause too much inconvenience, it can be recommended elastic compressive stockings. Wear them during everyday activities. They help to compress the veins, keeping them from stretching and limits any discomfort or pain.
  • Treatment. If the cross-vein, and the area where originates varicose veins, as shown on the ultrasound, is not healthy, then the surest is surgical treatment which helps to tie the vein at this junction - most often in the upper thigh, below the knee or in the calf muscles. The operation involves creating a small incision in the leg above the location of the vein related to varicose vein. Vienna remains in place, but prevents excess blood flow into it.

Non-invasive treatment of varicose veins (varicose veins)

The following methods of treatment of varicose veins can be done in an Advisory (not operational) the doctor's office and even in the clinic. The patient will get local anesthesia. He will be awake but will not feel pain.

  • Laser treatment of varicose veins can be used on the surface of the skin. With a small flash of laser light in the wall of the vein develops the process of sclerosing of varicose veins and disappears as if she had removed.
  • Endovenous laser coagulation of veins. A small incision at one end of the affected vein and ultrasound is used to direct the laser catheter into the vein. The laser is activated, and after approximately 60 seconds of exposure to vein collapse. As all of Vienna is destroyed, and not only the lining (as is the case with sclerotherapy), compression stockings are not required, and the patient recovers very quickly (usually he goes to work the next day).
  • Ablation. One of the first therapeutic procedures, usually endothermic ablation. Through a small incision just above or just below the knee. Narrow catheter using an ultrasound scanning direct to Vienna. The catheter is a sensor that sends a radio frequency signal. The catheter heats the vein until it is not destroyed its walls, the vein closes and is fully sealed. Once a vein is "sealed" and closed, blood is redirected to one of the healthy veins.
  • Phlebectomy. If endothermal treatment - ablation and sclerotherapy (see below) - not appropriate for a particular patient, he usually offered a surgical procedure – "phlebectomy" - that is, veins removal.
  • Crossectomy. Most surgeons using this technique is ligation and the intersection of the great saphenous vein, which involves tying the vein in the patient's leg and then removing it.
  • Unextracted. Another common surgical technique for the treatment of superficial varicose veins - "unextracted": the victim Vienna completely removed. A small incision on the skin is at each end of the affected vein. A flexible wire is inserted into the varicose vein and closes, and veins are removed.
  • Mini phlebectomy. This method involves the removal of the vein through a series of tiny skin cuts, suitable for small varicose veins. Specialized surgical tools are used to remove the affected veins. The incisions are so small that they usually do not require stitches.
  • Endoscopic vein surgery. This method can be used for more severe cases of varicose veins. It includes several small incisions in the leg. A thin tube containing a tiny camera (endoscope), inserted through one of the incisions into the affected vein and small surgical instruments are inserted through another incision. The camera allows the surgeon to see the internal part of the vein on a television monitor and perform the necessary operations.
varicose veins prevention

Complications of varicose veins (varicose veins)

Complications due to varicose veins may include:

  • the skin over the affected veins may become thin and vulnerable to cuts, cuts, wounds and sores;
  • there may be inflammation of the affected veins (phlebitis);
  • slightly increases the risk of blood clots in the deep veins associated with varicose veins.

Prevention of varicose veins (varicose veins)

Since varicose veins cannot be completely cured, the best treatment is its prevention. Tips that can help in the prevention of varicose veins:

  • avoid crossing your legs and the position of "legs" when you sit;
  • maintain a healthy body weight;
  • avoid tight clothing that compresses the legs, groin or waist;
  • avoid uncomfortable shoes;
  • avoid constipation;
  • when you stand for long periods of time, shift weight from one foot to the other every 5-10 minutes.