Signs of varicose veins of the legs in women are often found - this pathology is detected in almost every third woman. This disease, accompanied by the expansion of the lumen and thinning of the walls of the venous vessels, leads not only to the appearance of cosmetic defects, but also accompanied by pain and malnutrition of the tissues of the lower extremities. As a result, if untreated, a woman may develop trophic ulcers on the legs, which entail even more serious complications. That is why the beginning of the treatment of varicose veins should always be timely.
Signs of varicose veins of the legs in women are not always noticeable in the initial stages - sometimes the disease lasts for a long time.
Causes and early signs
Veins on the legs are affected by varicose veins under the influence of the following factors:
- sedentary lifestyle;
- long stay in a static position;
- taking high-dose contraceptives;
- increased abdominal pressure with frequent or prolonged coughing, sneezing, or constipation;
- overload during physical training or exertion;
- leg injuries;
- pelvic pathology;
- overuse of tanning or thermal treatments;
- wearing uncomfortable shoes;
- the habit of sitting cross-legged;
- alcohol abuse;
- old age.
Due to an increase in pressure in the venous vessels and blood stagnation, the vessels become stretched, the blood flows in them change their direction and flow rate, as the walls of the vessels change their tone, and the valves stop functioning normally. As a result, changes in the veins lead to the development of a vicious circle in hemodynamics and other functions of the venous vessels.
In the initial stages of varicose veins, the blood flow can still be compensated by conservative means - wearing compression underwear, gymnastics and the use of venotonic drugs. However, as the disease progresses, changes in the structure of the veins become irreversible and can only be removed surgically.
The symptoms of varicose veins can significantly disrupt the usual rhythm of life.
The following manifestations may become the first signs of varicose veins of the legs:
- heaviness in the legs;
- the appearance of telangiectasias - spider veins and meshes of different colors (bluish, red, black);
- feeling of fullness during a long stay in a motionless position (sitting, standing);
- convulsions at night;
- relief of symptoms after walking or resting in a horizontal position.
Often, the first manifestations of this common disease are attributed to fatigue, and the visit to the doctor may be postponed until the serious consequences of the disease appear. As the expansion of the venous walls progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced, and then new ones are added to the above manifestations.
Varicose enlargement in later stages is manifested by the following symptoms:
- rapid fatigue in the legs;
- feeling full of fluid;
- swelling of soft tissues after exertion;
- translucence and protrusion of large veins above the skin;
- itchy skin;
- bruising due to rupture of large vessels;
- peeling of the skin;
- hair loss;
- trophic ulcers.
Against the background of varicose veins in women, blood clots - thrombi - can form in the lumen of the veins. When they migrate through the bloodstream, consequences of various severity develop: thrombosis, flembothrombosis, the development of cardiovascular diseases, the opening and suppuration of ulcers, the ingress of blood clots into the vessels of the heart or lungs.
Diagnostics and treatment
To confirm the diagnosis, a woman should contact a vascular surgeon and undergo an examination. The diagnostic plan includes an examination with instrumental studies:
- Doppler ultrasound of the leg vessels;
- duplex angioscanning;
- X-ray and radionuclide methods.
The tactics of treating varicose veins of the legs is determined by the stage of the disease. Conservative means can be used early on:
- wearing compression hosiery or bandaged with elastic bandages;
- sufficient physical activity;
- wearing comfortable shoes;
- physiotherapy exercises;
- elimination of static load on the legs;
- application of venotonics.
The duration of conservative therapy is individual and depends on the rate of progression of the disease and compliance with the doctor's recommendations. It can be supplemented with a special diet, implying the introduction of foods into the diet that help strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
The probability that varicose veins will recede under the onslaught of conservative treatments is determined by each clinical case. In many ways, the success of therapy depends on the timeliness of a visit to a doctor.
Also, these therapies are recommended at the stage of preparation for surgical treatment or for those patients who are contraindicated for invasive intervention.
Sometimes the prevention of the progression of varicose veins can consist in performing minimally invasive interventions. They are applicable only for strict indications, which are determined during the examination of the patient.
Treatment of varicose veins in advanced stages usually involves performing a surgical operation - minimally invasive or classical.
If possible, a woman is recommended radical treatment of varicose veins of the legs:
- compression sclerotherapy;
- laser coagulation;
- radio frequency coagulation.
If the impact of these minimally invasive techniques is not enough, then for more radical surgical treatment, classical operations are performed:
- Trendelenburg's method (with complications by thrombosis and infection).
Sometimes classical surgical techniques are supplemented with the use of minimally invasive ones. This combination can reduce the trauma of operations and shorten the period of postoperative rehabilitation.
Varicose veins of the lower extremities can be successfully treated, especially in the early stages. That is why the first signs of this disease should always become a reason for visiting a vascular surgeon. Varicose veins can occur at different ages, and observations show that women are more likely to suffer from this disease. Signs of varicose veins of the legs in women are the same as in men.