Advanced disease and its classification

Varicose veins are one of the most common pathologies today, affecting one in four people in the world.

Scientists have been studying pathology since ancient times. Varicose veins are divided into classifications - the types and complexity of the course of the disease.

What is varicose veins?

legs with varicose veins

Varicose veins or varicose veins are a vascular disease that occurs as a result of swollen veins. They swell due to the fact that they lose their elasticity and begin to deform under the weight of the blood.

When the disease begins to develop, it first affects the small capillaries and only then passes into the veins. Under the influence of certain factors, the blood circulation in the limbs is disturbed. To raise the blood, the pressure rises and pushes it out. But due to its own density it cannot rise completely.

Therefore, the remnants flow into the veins and become clogged in the so-called "pockets", which appear as a result of weakening of the vessels. After some time, the accumulated blood accumulates in blood clots, sticking blood cells - erythrocytes to each other.

Thus, varicose veins can be called pathological changes in the vessels, most often occurring in the lower extremities.

But it also happens on the hands and even on the genitals. The veins are dilated and can be seen through the skin. The first symptom of varicose veins is the appearance of spider veins and asterisks. This suggests that there is a violation of blood flow and in parallel the vessels are destroyed. To avoid complications, you should contact a phlebologist immediately when you find a vascular pattern under the skin.

According to statistics, 20 out of 100 people suffer from varicose veins and 10 of them do not know about the development of this disease. Varicose veins affect the fairer sex more, as women have more causes and causes of the disease - high heels, pregnancy, hereditary factors.

Why does clogging of the veins occur?

There are many different factors that cause the development of varicose veins.

Consider the most basic:

  1. Walking and physical activity. At risk are people who spend a lot of time in an upright position, such as working in an upright position. When a person stands up straight, the veins are under pressure. If we take into account the force of attraction, it becomes clear that at this point the veins are deformed. That is why it is important to warm up, sometimes to sit down. Squat or do exercises in between. Also, with excessive exercise, blood vessels dilate. As a result, natural plasticity is lost over time, leading to the development of varicose veins.
  2. hereditary predisposition. It has long been proven that cardiovascular disease can be inherited. More precisely, not only varicose veins are transmitted at the genetic level, but the structural features of the vascular network throughout the body, which can be a predisposition to various types of vascular pathology.
  3. Hormonal imbalances most often occur as a result of endocrine disruption. The female body undergoes hormonal changes many times in her life - during puberty, during pregnancy, during menstruation, during menopause, at this time. When men are affected only by hormonal disorders associated with menopause.
  4. Disorders of the nervous system directly affect the tone of the vascular wall. Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, medication, constant stress - all this destroys nerve cells, which leads to a decrease in the flexibility and elasticity of venous networks. And this is a direct route to varicose veins.
  5. Other diseases that can cause the development of varicose veins. The load on the veins increases with various pathological processes - from the common cold to surgery. Thus, it can be concluded that any disease

Interestingly, previously varicose veins are considered a disease of people aged 40 and over. Now this pathology affects even young people aged 18-22 years. This is due to hormonal disorders, malnutrition, too active or sedentary lifestyle.

How does the disease manifest itself?

varicose veins of the legs

Varicose veins can present with a variety of symptoms. It is easy to recognize on its own in the advanced stage and is quite difficult to identify in the initial stage, when it is easiest to treat.

The main signs of the development of varicose veins are the following factors:

  • constant fatigue in the legs, especially after a long walk
  • swelling of the legs
  • manifestation of a vascular pattern in the upper part of the skin
  • with the intensive development of the disease, venous nodules and cyanosis appear
  • the bulging vein is very painful, itching may occur around it
  • convulsions

In addition, there may be other symptoms associated with circulatory disorders - changes in blood pressure, disorders of the heart.

The described symptoms cannot be ignored, because in addition to varicose veins, they can also signal other diseases.

Classification of varicose veins

It has already been said above that scientists have been studying varicose veins for more than a century. During this time, several classifications of this disease have been identified.

Classification by stages of the disease:

  • Compensation A is the stage where there are no complaints. No cramps, swelling or pain. But on examination, the veins stand out on one or both limbs;
  • Compensation B is manifested by bulging veins, pain, itching in the nodes, periodic convulsions, swelling and itching.
  • Decompensation is the last stage in which, in addition to all the symptoms of veins, skin diseases appear - dermatitis, eczema. The skin is dry, begins to peel off, cracks. The capillaries rupture and hyperpigmentation occurs as a result of subcutaneous hemorrhage, which manifests itself in a lilac-burgundy hue.
doctor examines legs with varicose veins

Classification according to the form of pathology:

  • vascular disease without reflux
  • segmental lesion with pathological shunt
  • widespread lesion with pathological shunt

International classification:

  • the zero stage in which varicose veins are just beginning to develop. At the same time, all symptoms are completely absent - pain, itching, fatigue, swelling. Occasionally there may be fatigue and heaviness in the legs.
  • the first stage, in which you can already see vascular networks and asterisks through the skin. In rare cases, seizures may occur
  • the second - there is varicose veins, ie blood vessels lose their elasticity and sagging veins appear as small tubercles that can be seen with the naked eye
  • the third stage is characterized by the appearance of swelling of the ankles and feet. It does not disappear after a break.
  • the fourth degree of varicose veins - the appearance of dermatitis, dryness, skin lesions
  • the fifth stage of varicose veins is the appearance of an ulcerated condition in which the skin is constantly cracked, looks blue or burgundy. Wounds hurt, swelling does not decrease, veins do not hide
  • the sixth stage is a trophic ulcer. This is a wound that has the feature of not healing. That is, it is a permanently open wound that hurts a lot, the skin around it itches and if swelling occurs, the wound can grow

If you are guided by the international classification, then stages 1-3 are still susceptible to conservative treatment. But more advanced forms of the disease require only surgery in which the veins are surgically removed.

Diagnosis of the disease

ultrasound diagnosis of varicose veins

Only a specialist can diagnose varicose veins and determine the stage of the pathology after several types of examination of the patient. Swelling and pain can also occur in other diseases.

Even the most experienced phlebologist or vascular surgeon cannot diagnose based on symptoms alone.

The diagnosis consists of palpation and examination. The doctor probes the veins, assessing their condition. The patient should then take a blood test to understand the characteristics, the number of blood cells, the coagulation and the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation.

It is also important to confirm or rule out the presence of pathogenic bacteria or viruses in the body.

An obligatory element in the examination is the ultrasound diagnosis, which will allow the doctor to see the whole picture.

That is, this method will help to see the condition of the veins and the degree of "clogging". An X-ray may also be needed. To "enlighten" the veins, a special drug is injected into them, which allows you to see the entire bloodstream on an X-ray.

If the doctor suspects other pathologies during the examination, he may order an examination by another doctor, such as a cardiologist, endocrinologist, gynecologist and other specialists. The fact is that before starting treatment, it is necessary to clearly determine the cause of the pathology and it can be varied.

Methods of treatment

There are many methods of therapy that are prescribed during varicose veins. The type of treatment will depend directly on the severity of the disease, the stage of the clogged veins and the general condition of the patient.

surgical treatment of varicose veins

Consider the basic methods:

  1. Conservative treatment includes complex therapy, which is aimed at relieving the symptoms and eliminating the root cause of varicose veins. You must first alleviate the pain and inflammation that have arisen as a result of vascular damage. It is also necessary to drink a course of diuretics, which will help remove fluid from the body accumulated due to impaired blood circulation. At the same time, doctors prescribe drugs that dilute the blood and strengthen the walls of capillaries and veins. This is how drugs work in all respects and relief comes. This method is suitable in the initial stage of the disease. That is, with trophic ulcers or presented condition, such a method will be ineffective.
  2. Surgical intervention during the treatment of varicose veins. During the operation, damaged veins and venous areas with a high level of obstruction are removed.

Laser surgery is the modern and most common way to remove affected blood vessels. Unlike surgery, laser therapy does not have a long recovery period. That is, after the procedure you can immediately return to your usual lifestyle.

With timely treatment, as a rule, the prognosis is positive. That is, if you do not tighten varicose veins, then the disease is not so terrible. Otherwise, complications may occur.

In addition to the fact that varicose veins will develop and can turn into a trophic ulcer, it disrupts many vital processes due to the fact that it completely disrupts blood circulation in the body.