Examination and treatment of varicose veins

Varicose veins (varicose veins) – diagnosis

Varicose veins (varicose veins) are a problem in the venous circulation that affects one in three women and one in four men. Between 0.5 and 1.5% of Europeans suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. In about 13% of patients, varicose veins develop into more severe disease, such as leg oedema, lipodermatosclerosis, ulcers, pigmentation disorders and thrombophlebitis. Therefore, if you feel some of the symptoms of leg circulatory disorders, you should seek medical attention, as untreated varicose veins can lead to complications, such as ulcers, which can lead to inflammation of the veins and to the loss of veins.

Symptoms of varicose veins:

  • pain in the veins,
  • Varicose veins, dilated leg veins;
  • swelling of the legs;
  • leg fatigue;
  • night cramps in the legs;
  • skin discolouration of the legs;
  • ulcers, wounds on the lower leg.

Causes of varicose veins:

  • The most common cause of varicose veins is heredity. If parents have varicose veins, children often inherit them too. If a parent has varicose veins in the legs, the chances of the child developing varicose veins are up to 47%. If both parents are affected, the chance increases to 89 per cent;
  • It occurs more often in women than in men;
  • Age – the walls of blood vessels weaken at older ages;
  • Overweight;
  • Pregnancy.

Is varicose veins an aesthetic problem?

For some patients, varicose veins, where varicose veins become prominent, are mainly an aesthetic problem, especially in women. Thus, women are the most frequent users of varicose vein treatment. However, it should be noted that any symptom of varicose veins is already a signal to be concerned about the blood vessels in the legs. If varicose veins are not treated in time, complications of varicose veins can develop over time. These include venous leg ulcers, inflammation of the superficial veins, brown spots on the calves or open sores. The resulting ulcer is a perfect breeding ground for infection. One of the most serious possible complications is sepsis. Also, one of the more serious possible complications is thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the superficial veins). Thrombophlebitis is caused by the formation of thrombi in the veins. The clots can reach the deep veins instead of the superficial veins, from where they can reach the lungs, leading to thromboembolism of the pulmonary artery and death.

Thus, the obvious presence of dilated veins may lead patients to seek the help of vascular specialists, but it is often a symptom of a much more serious health problem that needs treatment.

Double scan of leg veins

In order to choose the right treatment for leg veins, the doctor must examine the blood vessels with ultrasound – a double scan. The objectives of the double scan of the leg veins:

  • confirm or rule out suspected deep vein thrombosis;
  • to determine the status of the deep vein valves, blood reflux and its level in the deep veins;
  • confirm or exclude the presence of thrombophlebitis of the subcutaneous veins and its extension to the deep veins;
  • detect the location of varicose subcutaneous veins.

This examination allows a proper assessment of the condition of the blood vessels and a decision to be made as to the treatment of the leg veins and whether or not laser treatment of the leg veins is necessary or whether or not medication is to be administered. The informativeness of the test depends on the experience of the doctor and the quality of the echoscope. Only if this combination is present can we speak of an early diagnosis of varicose veins. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the results of treatment. So, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit a doctor who will make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment.

Prevention of varicose veins

  • Avoid prolonged sitting and standing. Standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time makes it more difficult for blood to travel through the veins in the legs. This leads to pressure in the veins of the legs, blood pooling in one place, and swelling and pain in the feet and lower legs.
  • Wear compression socks. Compression socks make leg veins more functional, reduce blood pooling, swelling and pain. Wearing compression socks during the day will reduce cramps at night.
  • A healthy lifestyle is essential. Being overweight leads to higher pressure in the veins, which is one of the factors that cause problems with leg veins. A healthy diet based on complex carbohydrates, sufficient protein and healthy fats is recommended. Foods high in salt should be avoided. Drinking enough water is very important – adequate hydration means healthy circulation.

Be physically active. Varicose veins and sport are very closely linked. To avoid problems with blood vessels, sport is essential in your daily routine. Swimming, cycling, yoga are the most suitable. Yoga is an excellent choice because of the poses that require raising the legs higher than the heart. Yoga exercises can also help to stretch and tone the deepest muscles of the calf. The deep muscles help the venous valves in the legs to function properly, which is very important for blood circulation in the legs.