With varicose veins, the veins of various organs (esophagus, spermatic cord - varicocele, rectum - hemorrhoids) can be affected, but the most common are varicose veins of the legs.
What is it?
Varicose veins or varicose veins (from Latinvarix- knot, swelling) - persistent and irreversible expansion and elongation of the veins (blood vessels to the heart) of the lower extremities with thinning of the vein wall and formation of "knots" asConsequence of gross pathology of the vein walls, as well as inadequacy of their valves due to a genetic defect.
Since ancient times, doctors like Hippocrates, Avicenna, Galen, and Paracelsus have tried to treat varicose veins, but to no avail. The famous Italian anatomist and doctor Marcello Malpighi, who discovered the mechanisms of capillary circulation more than 300 years ago, devoted many years to researching the disease.
Varicose veins are a fairly common disease. Today, one in three women and one in ten men suffer from varicose veins, and most of the time the disease begins in the working age of 30 to 40 years. The more time a modern person spends sitting at the computer or in the car, the higher the risk of developing varicose veins. This problem is very urgent these days.
Why is this happening?
Varicose veins appear not only in the lower extremities, but there are also varicose veins of the stomach and esophagus, pelvic veins, testicular veins and spermatic cord - varicocele. Varicose veins of the pelvis are one of the causes of hemorrhoids, and varicocele threatens possible infertility. Surgical intervention is required to prevent this. The most common varicose veins of the lower extremities.
The main reasons for the development of varicose veins of the lower extremities are:
- Heredity - people with common pedigree cases of varicose veins of the legs are at risk;
- Gender: In women, pregnancy leads to varicose veins and the use of hormonal drugs.
- increased venous pressure (sedentary lifestyle, static loads in an upright position, obesity).
These causes of varicose veins not only contribute to varicose veins, increased venous pressure or a disruption of the normal function of the venous valves. The consequence of the disease is wrong, pathological blood flow in the veins of the lower extremities - reflux (pathological, reverse flow of venous blood from deep veins to superficial). They also cause the disease to worsen over time, as they multiply the pressure on the venous system. Therefore, the features of hemodynamics with varicose veins are both a consequence of the disease and its cause. A vicious circle is created.
Correct blood flow occurs when blood flows from bottom to top through the veins of the legs, ie against the action of gravity. This is achieved through several mechanisms: blood pressure from the arteries (the smallest contribution), the contraction of the leg muscles during movement (this acts as a pump), and the presence of valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing back. It is the inability of these valves to perform their function that leads to disruption of venous blood flow, which leads to overdistension of the veins. As a result, the flow of blood becomes chaotic, the blood stagnates in the veins of the lower extremities, especially the subcutaneous ones, the pressure in them increases so much that the vascular walls cannot withstand and begin to expand and thin.
People who are on their feet for a long time (doctors, salespeople, hairdressers) have a very high risk of developing varicose veins on their legs.
In women, the causes of varicose veins can be linked to a hormonal imbalance (e. g. incorrectly selected hormonal contraception). In addition, varicose veins of the pelvis, as well as varicose veins of the lower extremities, often develop during pregnancy when the pressure of the growing uterus on the veins of the abdominal cavity gradually increases, which in turn makes it difficult for blood to flow through the leg veins.
In addition, an increase in intra-abdominal pressure during heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, chronic constipation, etc. leads to malfunction of the venous valves.
Finally, venous disorders are quite common in the elderly.
What if this happens?
The first symptoms of varicose veins are swelling of the legs towards the end of the day, a feeling of heaviness and fullness in the calves that occurs when sitting or standing for long periods of time. A distinctive feature of varicose veins is the disappearance or a significant reduction in these symptoms when walking and after a night's sleep.
Later there is bursting pain in the calves, a sensation of heat in the legs and night cramps in the calf muscles. In addition, small blue-red vascular "stars" appear on the legs, dark blue intradermal veins become visible and finally the saphenous veins expand, which look like clusters of overripe red grapes.
If varicose veins appear, eczema can develop in the affected areas.
So, if you noticed the first symptoms of varicose veins, then in the near future, consult a phlebologist - a specialist in venous diseases.
The success of the treatment of varicose veins depends directly on the stage at which the treatment is started. The sooner you see a phlebologist, the easier the treatment will be and the lower the risk of complications.
After the initial examination, the doctor will prescribe one or the other type of instrumental examination. Doppler ultrasound is usually enough to make a diagnosis. However, if necessary, radionuclide and radiopaque methods are also used - special substances are introduced into the bloodstream and their distribution through the vessels is studied.
Treatment of varicose veins
How are varicose veins treated? There are three ways to treat varicose veins: Performing surgical operation on varicose veins using sclerotherapy or medication. In addition, physical therapy exercises and medical knitwear are actively used to treat varicose veins.
The essence of sclerotherapy is to inject special drugs into the veins, which causes the walls of the vessels to stick together and close the lumen.
During the surgical treatment of varicose veins, the affected veins are simply removed. It is important to note that removal of the saphenous vein does not interfere with blood flow and is safe for the body. Usually only 10 percent of the blood flows through the superficial veins that affect varicose veins. The rest of the load is taken over by the deep leg veins. And therefore, after surgery to remove varicose veins, in most cases these vessels can easily compensate for the function of the superficial veins.
Remember: varicose veins can and should be treated, as they are fraught with unpleasant complications without treatment.