Varicose disease and its classification

Varicose veins today is one of the most common pathologies that affects every fourth person in the world.

Scientists have studied 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 is a vascular disease that occurs as a result of swollen veins. They swell up due to the fact that they lose elasticity and begin to deform under the weight of blood.

When the disease starts to develop, it first affects the small capillaries and only then moves on to the veins. Under the influence of certain factors, blood circulation in the limbs is disturbed. In order for the blood to rise, the pressure builds up and pushes it out. But due to its own density, it cannot go up completely.

Therefore, the remnants go down the veins and clog the so-called "pockets", which appear as a result of the weakening of the vessels. After some time, the accumulated blood clumps into blood clots sticking blood bodies - erythrocytes to each other.

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

But it also happens on the hands and even on the genitals. The veins are stretched 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 need to 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 are unaware of the development of this disease. The expansion of the veins affects the fair sex more, as women have more motives and reasons for the disease - high heels, pregnancy, hereditary factor.

Why does vein blockage occur?

There are many different factors that cause varicose veins to develop.

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 standing work. When a person is standing, the veins are under pressure. If we take into account the force of attraction, it is clear that at this moment the veins are deformed. That's why it's important to warm up, sometimes to sit down. Squat or do exercises in between. Also, with excessive physical exertion, blood vessels stretch. As a result, natural plasticity is lost over time, resulting in the development of varicose veins.
  2. hereditary predisposition. It has long been proven that cardiovascular disease can be inherited. To be more precise, it is not the varicose veins themselves that 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 pathologies.
  3. Hormonal imbalance most often occurs as a result of disruption of the endocrine system. The female body undergoes hormonal changes many times throughout life - during puberty, during pregnancy, during menstruation, during menopause, at that time. When men are only affected by hormonal disorders associated with transition age.
  4. Violations in the work of the nervous system directly affect the tone of the vascular wall. Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, medication use, constant stress - all this destroys nerve cells, resulting in a decrease in the flexibility and elasticity of the venous networks. And this is a direct path to varicose veins.
  5. Other diseases that can cause varicose veins to develop. The load on the veins increases with various pathological processes - from a common cold to surgical intervention. Thus, it can be concluded that any disease

Interestingly, previous varicose veins were considered a disease of people aged 40 and over. Now, this pathology affects even young people from 18 to 22 years old. This is due to hormonal disorders, malnutrition, a very active or sedentary lifestyle.

How does the disease manifest itself?

varicose veins on the legs

Varicose veins can have different symptoms. It is easy to recognize it on its own at advanced stages and it is quite difficult to identify it at the initial stage when it is easier 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 in the legs
  • manifestation of a vascular pattern on top of the skin
  • with the intensive development of the disease, venous nodules and cyanosis appear
  • the protruding vein is very painful, itching may occur around it
  • convulsions

In addition, other symptoms associated with circulatory disorders may appear - a change in blood pressure, disturbances in the work of the heart.

The symptoms described cannot be ignored, as 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 over a century. During this time, several classifications of this disease were defined.

Classification by disease stages:

  • Compensation A is the stage where there are no claims. There is no cramping, swelling or pain. But on examination, the veins stand out in one or both limbs;
  • Compensation B is manifested by bulging veins, pain, itching in the area of the ganglia, periodic convulsions, swelling and itching.
  • Decompensation is the last stage, in which, in addition to all the symptoms with veins, skin diseases also appear - dermatitis, eczema. The skin is too dry, it starts to peel, crack. The capillaries burst, and as a result of subcutaneous hemorrhage, hyperpigmentation appears, which manifests itself in a lilac-burgundy hue.
doctor examines the leg with varicose veins

Classification according to the form of pathology:

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

International ranking:

  • stage zero, when varicose veins are just beginning to develop. At the same time, any symptoms are completely absent - pain, itching, fatigue, swelling. Occasionally, fatigue and heaviness in the legs may occur.
  • the first stage, in which the vascular networks and asterisks can already be seen through the skin. In rare cases, seizures may occur
  • the second - there is an expansion of the veins, that is, the blood vessels lose their elasticity and the flaccid 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 rest.
  • the fourth degree of varicose veins - the occurrence of dermatitis, dryness, skin lesions
  • the fifth stage of varicose veins is the appearance of a pre-ulcerative condition, in which the skin constantly bursts, looks blue or burgundy. Wounds hurt, swelling doesn't go down, veins don't hide
  • the sixth stage is a trophic ulcer. This is a wound that has the particularity of not healing. That is, it is a constantly 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, stages 1-3 are still amenable to conservative treatment. But more advanced forms of the disease only require surgery, in which the veins are surgically removed.

Disease diagnosis

ultrasound diagnosis of varicose veins

Only a specialist can diagnose varicose veins and determine the stage of the pathology after various types of examination of the patient. Swelling and pain can also occur with other conditions.

Even the most experienced phlebologist or vascular surgeon cannot make a diagnosis based on symptoms alone.

Diagnosis consists of palpation and examination. The doctor probes the veins, assessing their condition. Then, the patient needs to do a blood test to find out the characteristics, the number of blood cells, the coagulability and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

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

A mandatory item in the study 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 "blockage". An x-ray may also be needed. To "light up" the veins, a special drug is injected into them, which makes it possible to see the entire circulatory network on an x-ray.

If during the examination the doctor suspects other pathologies, he can schedule an examination with another doctor, for example, cardiologist, endocrinologist, gynecologist and other specialists. The fact is that before starting treatment, it is necessary to clearly determine the cause of the appearance of the pathology, and it can be varied.

treatment methods

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

varicose veins surgical treatment

Consider the main methods:

  1. Conservative treatment includes complex therapy, which aims to relieve symptoms and eliminate the main cause of varicose veins. First, you need to relieve pain and inflammation, which have arisen as a result of vascular damage. It is also necessary to take a course of diuretic drugs that will help to remove the fluid from the body that has built up due to impaired blood circulation. At the same time, doctors prescribe drugs that thin the blood and strengthen the walls of capillaries and veins. Thus, drugs act in all aspects, and relief comes. This method is relevant in the initial phase of the disease. That is, with trophic ulcers or present state, 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 get rid of affected blood vessels. Unlike surgery, there is not a long recovery period with laser therapy. That is, after the procedure, you can immediately return to your usual way of life.

With timely treatment, as a rule, forecasts are positive. That is, if you do not pinch the varicose veins, the disease is not so terrible. Otherwise, complications may arise.

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