Diagnosis, stages and treatment of varicose veins in the legs.
Many people do not take the first signs of varicose veins seriously, considering it only a cosmetic defect. In fact, this is not the case. The disease is complex, complex, it can significantly worsen the general health of a person and lead to dangerous consequences.
In addition, it adversely affects the well-being, performance and appearance of the patient. Therefore, early diagnosis and proper treatment will help prevent the development of the disease and protect the body from many negative manifestations of varicose veins.
Causes and symptoms of varicose veins
One of the main reasons why varicose veins develop, most researchers consider heredity. If there were cases of varicose veins in the family, it can be argued that family members are at a much higher risk of getting sick.
The next most common case is increased load on the legs, leading to poor blood flow and venous valves. People who are overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle, a sedentary job or spend a lot of time on their feet are at risk. Smokers, people with hormonal and endocrine disorders, blood disorders, and heavy physical exertion are also at risk for the disease.
To identify the causes of the disease, timely diagnosis of varicose veins in the legs is very important. People with a family history of the disease should be tested regularly, even if there are no signs. If symptoms appear, you should do so as soon as possible.
As with other diseases, varicose veins "captured" in the early stages are treated much more effectively.
The patient succeeds in preventing the rapid development of the disease and the appearance of extremely ugly and very painful nodules on the extremities.
Signs of the presence of varicose veins can be the following:
- Heaviness in the legs, which increases significantly after the least effort, but can also appear in a state of complete calm.
- Swelling of the lower leg, ankle and instep.
- Leg pain, manifested by dull aches, cramps, sensations of tissue "popping" from within, and burning, especially after exertion.
- The appearance of thrombophlebitis, that is, an inflammatory process in the wall of a vessel filled with a thrombus.
With the development of the disease, the walls of the blood vessels widen, thin and form large varicose ganglia. They can be located in different places (hemorrhoids are a particular form of varicose veins), but they are especially noticeable and painful in the lower extremities. If the disease begins, the patient will have difficulty moving, he will suffer constant pain, his health will deteriorate, and his work capacity will decrease.
Without treatment or with the wrong choice, varicose veins can have an extremely negative impact on health and lead to the development of many dangerous complications.
Stages of the disease
The symptoms of varicose veins depend on the stage of the disease.
According to international standards, it is customary to take into account 6 stages of the disease:
- Stage 0: the very beginning of the disease, when the patient does not even suspect that he is already sick. External manifestations are not observed, but a person periodically complains of pain and heaviness in the legs, cramps and swelling that appear at night after the slightest effort. Signs of the disease may not be detected even with a full examination, but you can expect its manifestation at any time.
- Stage 1: in this stage, in addition to the patient's complaints, spider veins or even a mesh of them appear on the legs. Consulting a doctor for a full diagnosis and starting treatment can prevent the development of a full-blown disease, preserve the beauty and health of the legs.
- Stage 2- These are considered to be the actual varicose veins. During this period, a full "set" of signs is observed, from constant patient complaints to the development of enlarged veins and the formation of nodules under the skin of the extremities. Symptoms and external manifestations increase significantly after exertion, walking in heels or sitting for a long time without moving.
- Stage 3: The patient's condition worsens as swelling adds to existing symptoms. It usually goes away after a night's rest, but in the evening the patient's legs are very swollen and sore again. Swelling leads to stagnation of nutrients, the skin becomes dark, inflamed and sore. Inflammatory processes develop gradually from small areas to large areas of damage. When an infection attaches, erysipelas presents with suppurating superficial lesions, which are very difficult to heal. Whitish areas of atrophied skin appear on the body, later threatening to develop into trophic ulcers.
- Stage 4: The patient's condition is complicated by the appearance of trophic ulcers, which have so far been successfully healed.
- Stage 5: trophic ulcers that do not heal. The general condition of the patient is unsatisfactory.
Correctly performed diagnostics of varicose veins on the legs will help not only to identify the disease itself, but also the stage of the disease. The smaller it is, the easier the treatment will be and the faster the optimal effect can be achieved.
Advanced varicose veins can be complicated by eczema and thrombophlebitis.
If the disease is not treated or inappropriate means are used, it can be complicated by the following problems:
- Trophic ulcers. They are painful, unsightly, can become severely inflamed, and are difficult to treat. If the cause is not eliminated, they can be opened again and again.
- Acute form of superficial venous thrombophlebitis.
- Bleeding from nodes formed by thinned vessels with varicose veins. They arise from the rupture of the walls of the blood vessels, which causes massive hemorrhage. If it is not stopped in time, the blood loss can be so significant that it will lead to death.
- Thromboembolism, that is, detachment of a thrombus with its transfer by blood flow to another place where it can cause thrombosis. If it enters a large vessel, such as the pulmonary artery, the embolism can cause serious problems or death.
- Milky or blue edema. These conditions indicate injuries of several vessels, bring severe suffering, provoke the development of trophic ulcers, and sometimes can become the beginning of tissue death due to a strong violation of its nutrition. This can lead to limb amputation in particularly severe cases.
The main diagnosis of varicose veins in the legs is the Doppler ultrasound method. With this method, the doctor can detect not only dilated veins, but also assess the condition of the valves of deep and superficial veins, identify the presence of blood clots or other formations in the lumen of the vessels.
The procedure is painless for the patient, it is performed in the supine or prone position, sometimes the doctor asks the patient to undergo an additional procedure while standing to reveal injuries that are invisible in another position.
No survey preparation required.
In addition, the patient can be assigned to other types of exams and tests. A blood test is important, showing the state of the fluid and its tendency to further thrombus formation.
Peculiarities of the treatment
Once the diagnosis of varicose veins in the legs has been made, the doctor will select the appropriate treatment, which depends on the stage of the disease.
All types of impact on the disease can be divided into the following:
The latter methods are used when the state is already very neglected and it is not possible to achieve a positive effect with conservative methods. In this case, surgical excision of the affected areas of the veins is performed. Immediately after the intervention, it is required to wear special compression underwear. Usually within a day after the operation, the patient is allowed to go home.
If the disease is caught early, you can use a conservative approach. Includes medication, sclerotherapy or laser coagulation and compression.
The selection of medications depends on many reasons, therefore the treating physician selects them individually for each patient.
Most often, the list of drugs includes anticoagulants, that is, substances that help thin the blood and prevent blood clots, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs to treat phlebitis and stop its spread.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a special substance is injected into a glass, causing the walls of the glass to stick together. A scar forms, the diseased vessel is "disconnected" from the circulation of the blood, and eventually dies and dissolves. On the surface of the body, no traces of the old blue glasses or "stars" remain here. The procedure is very quick and does not require anesthesia.
If larger vessels need to be removed, laser coagulation is used. For him, under local anesthesia, a special light guide is inserted into the vein, which conducts a laser beam. It literally seals the glass, curdling the blood in it. As a result, it dies in the same way as the smaller vessels during sclerosis.
The use of compression underwear is prescribed by a doctor, who also selects the type and class of the product. The use of such a tool can also be prophylactic. This requires special hosiery (not medicinal! ). They are shown to people at risk, those who spend a lot of time standing or sitting immobile.
An active and healthy lifestyle is the best prevention of varicose veins.
The development of varicose veins can be prevented by following these recommendations:
- Lose weight. The presence of obesity or being overweight contributes to the development of many diseases, including varicose veins.
- Eliminate excessive loads on the veins, including those caused by intense sports. The main "provocateurs" are weight lifting, bodybuilding, tennis.
- Stop wearing uncomfortable shoes with very high heels every day. It should only be worn on special occasions, and shoes with a lower, more stable heel are suitable for everyday wear.
- Refuse the use of stockings and underwear with elastic bands that compress the blood vessels. Things equipped with rubber bands are especially dangerous.
- Refuse hot baths, baths and saunas for too long, stay in direct sunlight.
- Smoking can be one of the factors that cause alterations in the functioning of the circulatory system, so it should also be avoided.
Moderate exercise, regular walks, stopping work while standing or sitting to walk or exercise will help you never get acquainted with this dangerous and unpleasant disease - varicose veins.