Varicose veins of the lower extremities
What is it?
Varicose veins of the lower extremities are a disorder of the venous circulatory system. Due to the difficulty of returning venous blood to the heart, the veins tend to dilate and become tortuous, which is a specific feature of varicose veins. They are often visible with the naked eye and recognizable by their winding path. The main risk factors are family history of venous disease, female gender, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, occupations that require standing for many hours a day, and pregnancy.
Which are the symptoms?
Varicose veins range from skin imperfections known as capillaries to voluminous tortuous dilations; they can generate symptoms such as pain, swelling and ulcers in the lower limbs.
- Leg pain
- Swelling and burning in the legs
- Protruding veins
- Feeling of heaviness in the legs
- Night cramps
- Itching legs
- Venous ulcer
How is it diagnosed?
The main examination for visualizing varicose veins is the objective examination; however, the cause of the occurrence of varicose veins must be investigated with examinations that are more detailed. Echocolordoppler is the non-invasive method used in the study of venous pathology because it allows visualizing superficial and deep veins with excellent resolution and allows receiving information on reflux and obstruction.
How is it treated?
The treatment should be individualized in relation to the patient's anatomy and areas of pathological reflux, with sclerotherapy performed in case of small imperfections. In case of varicose veins of the lower extremities, the pathological area must always be identified which can be treated with ablative techniques: surgically with stripping; endovascularly with the most recent minimally invasive ablative techniques that use thermal or chemical agents to obliterate the vessel. In all stages of the disease, the pathology is associated with elastocompression and farmacological therapy with phlebotonic drugs.
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