What are varicose veins, how to prevent or treat them effectively

Varicose veins are a commonly diagnosed condition. The disease, if left untreated, significantly impairs the quality of human life.

The mechanism of development of varicose veins

What are varicose veins? To answer the question, it is necessary to have an idea of the mechanism of development of the pathology.

The leg veins are a branched network of saphenous and deep veins connected by communicating veins. Superficial veins are used to drain blood from the subcutaneous tissue and skin, deep veins - from other tissues.

Connecting vessels are needed to equalize the pressure. Blood flow in them is possible only from the saphenous veins to the deep ones.

The venous walls do not have a muscle layer, therefore, the movement of blood from the periphery to the center is carried out due to the residual arterial pressure. The tendons take part in the process, which also exerts some pressure.

The main role is given to the muscle pump. During physical activity, the muscular system contracts. As a result, the blood rises through the vessels, as the return flow is obstructed by the venous valve system.

The insufficiency of the valves and the weakening of the walls of the venous channels leads to the fact that the blood is able to move both up and down. Excessive pressure causes varicose veins, nodules, and venous insufficiency. At this stage, we can talk about the development of varicose veins.

Important! Varicose veins can also affect the veins of the upper digestive tract, especially the stomach. The treatment is done surgically.

Risk factors for varicose veins

There are many factors that can provoke the development of the disease. There are several main ones:

  • Hereditary predisposition. It is expressed in the initial weakness of the walls of blood vessels due to insufficiency of the connective tissue.
  • Pregnancy. Many women suffer from varicose veins during this time. The cause is an increase in blood volume and compression of the retroperitoneal veins by the growing uterus. Sometimes the abdomen and veins on the chest begin to appear. As a rule, the condition returns to normal when the pregnancy ends.
  • Overweight.
  • Human lifestyle. Low mobility, static loads and wearing tight clothing can cause varicose veins.
  • Incorrectly formulated diet. The likelihood of varicose veins increases due to insufficient content in the daily menu of fruits and vegetables, coarse fiber.
  • Hormonal imbalance. The reason is the use of hormonal contraceptives.

Classification of varicose veins

Doctors distinguish several classifications of the disease. Some doctors use a gradual classification:

  • Compensation phase.No complaints. Examination of the limbs reveals several dilated veins, "stars".
  • Subcompensatory.Pathologically dilated venous areas are clearly visible. There is a feeling of fullness, convulsions, evening swelling. In the morning it passes.
  • Compensatory.Dermatitis, ulcers, itching join the existing symptoms. The skin gets its characteristic luster due to the increased dryness. There are areas with petechiae.

Another classification is international. It is used everywhere.

  • Class 0.There are no visible symptoms. There is a feeling of heaviness in the limbs.
  • Class 1.Venous networks and telangiectasias are visible. Nighttime muscle cramps are possible.
  • Class 2.The dilated veins are clearly visible.
  • Class 3.Persistent edema develops.
  • Class 4.Symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis are diagnosed: dermatitis, increased skin pigmentation.
  • Class 5.Pre-ulcer condition of the skin.
  • Class 6.The development of trophic ulcers.
stages of development of varicose veins of the legs

Symptoms of varicose veins

The saphenous veins are affected first. At the beginning of the formation of varicose veins, varicose veins of a characteristic purple hue begin to appear. The place of localization is the ankles and the surface of the legs.

The initial phase is characterized by:

  • swelling in the evening that disappears in the morning;
  • the appearance of aching pain after a prolonged condition;
  • feeling of heaviness in the legs.

In the first stage, the following develops:

  • vascular reticulum,
  • increased fatigue,
  • the appearance of venous nodes,
  • regular night cramps
  • burning sensation in the calf muscles.

For the second stage, the following symptoms are typical:

  • an increase in the number of spider veins;
  • an increase in venous nodules;
  • increased swelling and pain syndrome;
  • itching in the area of inflammation;
  • dry skin, the appearance of pigmented areas.

The third phase is accompanied by:

  • strong trophic changes: increased dryness and darkening of the skin in the ankle area;
  • the formation of dermatitis and eczema;
  • the growth of existing venous nodes, in case of damage, long-healing ulcers are formed;
  • the development of thrombophlebitis and thrombosis.

Important! The presence of complications is indicated by an increase in body temperature.

With the formation of deep venous varicose veins, the following symptoms occur:

  • an increase in body temperature against the background of a deterioration in general well-being;
  • pallor and even cyanosis of the skin;
  • a feeling of warmth in the area of the affected veins;
  • pain, aggravated by bending the limb at the knee joint;
  • persistence of edema after a night's rest;
  • an increase in the volume of the inflamed limb;
  • seizures that develop at any time of the day;
  • clear venous network.

Important! With the development of thrombosis, symptoms develop suddenly.

Diagnosis of varicose veins

Diagnosis of varicose veins is not difficult. An ultrasound examination, an x-ray of the veins using contrast medium and a blood test to determine the clotting speed should be prescribed.

Conservative treatment

Conservative therapy of the disease involves adherence to a diet, the use of compression underwear and the intake of medications.


Overweight is one of the provoking factors in the development of varicose veins. You have to completely exclude from the menu:

  • spicy / salty / smoked foods and dishes;
  • marinades;
  • alcohol.

The main part of the diet should be fresh fruits and vegetables, foods rich in fiber (they improve intestinal function, preventing the development of constipation), seafood.

Meals should be fractional: at least 4 times a day.

Stop smoking

Smoking should be stopped completely. This requirement applies to both men and women / girls. Inhaled resins cause blockage of blood vessels and carbon dioxide causes spasm. This increases the risk of blood clots and associated secondary complications.

smoking cessation as part of the complex therapy of varicose veins

Compression underwear (stockings, knee-highs, tights)

Wearing compression underwear is recommended as a prophylaxis and treatment for an early stage of the disease. You have to wear it in the morning without getting out of bed.

Important! When buying underwear, it is necessary to take into account the degree of compression, so the attending physician should select it. Only a specialist can correctly take into account the existing symptoms.

Varicose veins: drug treatment

It is impossible to completely get rid of varicose veins by taking medications. But it is quite possible to stop the development of the disease and relieve severe symptoms.

Venotonics - ointments and gels

Venotonics are drugs often used in the treatment of varicose veins. They help protect the venous walls and improve blood microcirculation by stimulating venous outflow.

Treatment with venotonic drugs is carried out twice a year. The duration of each is 2 months.

Drugs are prescribed in combination with other medicines.

Venotonic tablets

The tablet format of venotonic is recommended for deep vein lesions. They proved effective:

  • Derivatives of saponins. The basis of medicines is a horse chestnut extract.
  • Preparations with an active active ingredient - diosmin.
  • Rutosides. The duration of the course is 2 months.

Phlebosclerosis drugs

Treatment of varicose veins by this group consists of intravenous administration of phlebosclerosis drugs or the imposition of an elastic bandage. After the introduction of the drug, the vascular lumen is gradually closed with connective tissue and is excluded from the general blood flow.

It is worth remembering that isolated sclerotherapy does not give a stable result and is not able to slow down the development of the disease. Most often, combined use with surgical treatment is recommended.

Important!At the preparatory stage, an ultrasound examination of the lower limbs is necessarily performed in order to exclude the presence of varicose lesions of the deeply localized veins.

The technique has its contraindications. It:

  • an allergic response to the components of the drug,
  • atherosclerotic lesion of the great vessels,
  • angiopathy of diabetic origin,
  • obliteration of endarteritis,
  • blood clotting disorder,
  • thrombophlebitis,
  • gestation period.

Additional Medicines

As an additional drug therapy, the following groups of drugs are prescribed:

  • Means that improve blood microcirculation. They help reduce viscosity, accelerate the breakdown of platelets, increasing the elasticity of platelets. Taken together, this improves blood supply processes to living tissues.
  • Means of the heparin group. They minimize the risk of blood clots and act as a decongestant and anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Contributes to the elimination of pain and inflammation.

Therapeutic options for phlebosclerosis

Phlebosclerosis therapy - gluing of vascular lumens - can be used in the following cases:

  • Before the start of the surgery. Helps reduce the risk of bleeding and thrombosis during the early recovery period.
  • During the operation. It is practiced as an alternative to surgical removal of the veins.
  • In the postoperative period. It is used for the hardening of non-operated venous areas.

Important!The puncture technique is used at all times, but the catheter technique is used exclusively during surgery.

Puncture method

The puncture method of phlebosclerosis involves closing the large veins and only then the small ones. Processing is done from top to bottom.

The dashed line is drawn vertically. Then the person is lying down and the drug is started. If it is necessary to treat a large area, the procedure is carried out in several sessions. Recovery takes 2 weeks.

After completing the sclerosis procedure, the following recommendations should be observed:

  • Elastic bandaging is performed during the postoperative weeks. During the first 7 days, the bandages are not removed.
  • After the end of the procedure, you need to move for 30 minutes.
  • During sleep, the legs should be in an elevated position.
  • During the day, you need to move as much as possible. It is not recommended to sit and stand for a long time.

Venous ablation with radiofrequency

Treatment of varicose veins with a radio frequency emitter is a new technique. During the procedure, the risk of damage to the ship is minimized as much as possible. At the same time, its effectiveness is unusually high: only the inner shell of the vessel is destroyed, the surrounding tissues do not suffer.

The treatment is carried out with local anesthesia under the control of duplex angiography. The patient does not need hospitalization.

The procedure itself looks like this:

  1. First, the patient receives an anesthetic drug. Then the inflamed vein is punctured.
  2. A disposable catheter equipped with a microemitter is inserted into the venous lumen. Along the lumen of the vessel, it moves to the first communicating vessel and moves into a deeply located vein.
  3. Then it is gradually removed. During this period, internal irradiation of the ship is carried out.
  4. The puncture area is fixed with an aseptic bandage. A compression stocking is applied to the treated limb.

The ability to work is restored after 24 hours.

the essence of the procedure for radiofrequency ablation of veins for varicose veins

Varicose veins: surgery

The decision to perform surgery is the responsibility of the attending physician. Surgery is the only way to completely cure even advanced varicose veins.

The following techniques are practiced:

  • combined phlebectomy;
  • endovasal electrocoagulation;
  • cryosurgery;
  • intraoperative sclerobliteration;
  • endoscopic dissection;
  • laser coagulation.

Combined phlebectomy

This is the most common method of surgical treatment of varicose veins. The surgery is performed both under general anesthesia and with the implementation of epidural anesthesia.

The saphenous vein is removed through a 1. 5 cm incision in the genital area (perineal area). It is used to introduce a phlebestractor probe. During its extraction, the inflamed venous area is removed. The small veins are removed through miniature incisions.

After the end of the operation, the patient is put on a compression stocking or an elastic bandage is performed.

Intravascular electrocoagulation

Removal of venous areas is done by exposure to electric current.


Removal of veins is based on the use of low temperatures. The technique is relatively safe, but depth-of-freezing calculations are sometimes incorrect. It is rarely used.

Inside the operating room sclerobliteration

The technique involves the introduction of a sclerosing drug through a catheter.

After cutting the saphenous vein, a catheter is inserted into its lumen. Simultaneously with its extraction, the sclerosant is released.

Endoscopic dissection

The endoscopic dissection technique allows for ligation and subsequent exclusion of the inflamed vein from the general blood flow system. The operation is performed using endoscopic probes.

Important!A variant of the operation is phlebectomy using transillumination.

Laser coagulation

The procedure uses a medical laser. With its help, damaged veins are sealed, due to which it is excluded from the general blood flow.

Home treatment for varicose veins

Home therapy for varicose veins is not just about taking medications prescribed by a doctor. Alternative methods of treating the disease can also be used:

  • daily use of cranberries, has a good effect on general well-being;
  • daily massage;
  • horse chestnut tincture for foot wraps;
  • Chicory drink contains a large amount of vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system.

But the practice of alternative treatment should not rule out a selected drug therapy.

Prevention of varicose veins

A practicable physical activity becomes the main preventive measure for the development of varicose veins. If it becomes necessary to stand or sit for a long time, it is necessary to periodically strain the muscles of the legs. Swimming and cycling will be useful.

cycling as a way to prevent the development of varicose veins

What is the danger of varicose veins if it is not treated? In the absence of adequate therapy, the formation of non-healing trophic ulcers, which can lead to complete disability, is not excluded. That is why, with the development of characteristic symptoms, it is necessary to contact a phlebologist and begin treatment.