What is varicose veins, how to prevent or effectively cure it

Varicose veins are a commonly diagnosed pathology. The disease, if untreated, significantly worsens a person's quality of life.

The mechanism of development of varicose veins

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

The veins of the legs 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 required to equalize pressure. The 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. Tendons take part in the process, which also exert a certain pressure.

The main role is given to the muscle pump. During physical activity, the muscle system contracts. As a result, the blood rises through the vessels, since the return flow is impeded by the system of venous valves.

Insufficiency of valves and 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, in particular the stomach. Treatment is carried out by surgery.

Risk factors for varicose veins

There are a lot of 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 as a result of insufficiency of the connective tissue.
  • Pregnancy. Many women during this period suffer from varicose veins. The cause is an increase in blood volume and compression of the retroperitoneal veins by the growing uterus. Sometimes the abdominal and veins on the chest begin to appear. As a rule, the condition returns to normal after the pregnancy ends.
  • Overweight.
  • Human lifestyle. Low mobility, static loads, and wearing tight clothing are capable of provoking varicose veins.
  • Incorrectly formulated diet. The likelihood of varicose veins increases as a result of insufficient content in the daily menu of vegetables and fruits, coarse fiber.
  • Hormonal disbalance. The reason is the use of hormonal contraceptives.

Classification of varicose veins

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

  • Compensation stage.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.
  • Decompensatory.Dermatitis, ulcers, pruritus join the existing symptoms. The skin gets its characteristic shine due to 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 pigmentation of the skin.
  • 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, spider veins of a characteristic purple hue begin to appear. The place of localization is the ankles and the surface of the legs.

The initial stage is characterized by:

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

At the first stage, the following develop:

  • 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 stage 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 vein 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 heat in the area of the affected veins;
  • soreness, aggravated by bending the limb at the knee joint;
  • persistence of edema after a night's rest;
  • an increase in the inflamed limb in volume;
  • 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

Diagnosing varicose veins is not difficult. An ultrasound examination, an x-ray of the veins using contrast, and a blood test to determine the rate of coagulation must be prescribed.

Conservative treatment

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


Being overweight is one of the provoking factors in the development of varicose veins. You must completely exclude from the menu:

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

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

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

Quitting smoking

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

cessation of smoking 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 pathology. You need 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, therefore, the attending doctor 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 alleviate severe symptoms.

Venotonics - ointments and gels

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

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

Prescribed drugs in combination with other medicines.

Venotonic tablets

Tableted format of venotonic is recommended for deep vein lesions. They have proven themselves well:

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

Phlebosclerosing drugs

Treatment of varicose veins by means of this group consists in the intravenous administration of phlebosclerosing drugs or the imposition of an elastic bandage. After the introduction of the agent, 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, its combined use with surgical treatment is recommended.

Important!At the preparatory stage, an ultrasound examination of the lower extremities is necessarily carried out in order to exclude the presence of varicose lesions of deeply located veins.

The technique has its own contraindications. It:

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

Additional medicines

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

  • Means that improve blood microcirculation. They contribute to a decrease in viscosity, accelerate the breakdown of platelets, while simultaneously increasing the elasticity of platelets. Taken together, this improves the processes of blood supply to living tissues.
  • Funds from the heparin group. They minimize the risk of blood clots and act as a decongestant and anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Contribute to the elimination of pain and inflammation.

Phlebosclerosis therapy options

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

  • Before the start of 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 veins.
  • In the postoperative period. It is used for hardening of non-operated venous areas.

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

Puncture method

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

The dotted line is drawn in a vertical position. Then the person is laid down and the medication is started. If it is necessary to treat a large area, the procedure is performed in several sessions. Recovery lasts 2 weeks.

After completing the sclerosing procedure, the following recommendations must be observed:

  • During the postoperative weeks, elastic bandaging is performed. 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.

Radiofrequency vein ablation

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

Treatment is carried out with local anesthesia under the control of duplex angioscanning. 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 micro-emitter is inserted into the venous lumen. Along the lumen of the vessel, it moves up to the first communicating vessel and moves into a deep vein.
  3. Then it is gradually removed. During this period, the internal irradiation of the vessel is carried out.
  4. The puncture area is fixed with an aseptic bandage. A compression stocking is put on the treated limb.

The ability to work is restored after 24 hours.

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

Varicose veins: surgery

The decision to carry out surgery is in the competence 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 intervention is performed either under general anesthesia or 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 phlebextractor probe. During its extraction, the inflamed venous area is removed. Small veins are removed through miniature incisions.

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

Endovasal electrocoagulation

Removal of venous areas is performed by exposure to an electric current.


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

Inside the operating room sclerobliteration

The technique involves the introduction of a sclerosing drug by a catheter route.

After cutting off 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 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 transillumination phlebectomy.

Laser coagulation

The procedure uses a medical laser. With its help, the 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 only about taking medications prescribed by a physician. Alternative methods of treating the disease can also be used:

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

But the practice of alternative treatment should not exclude selected drug therapy.

Prevention of varicose veins

The main preventive measure for the development of varicose veins is a feasible physical activity. 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 is not excluded, which can lead to complete disability. That is why, with the development of characteristic symptoms, it is necessary to contact a phlebologist and start treatment.