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Varicose Veins, Varicosities

Saturday, August 4th 2012. | Blood Health, Disease

Varicose Veins Definition

The blood circulates in the blood vessels : the oxygen-rich blood flows through blood vessels called arteries and oxygen-poor blood in vessels called veins.

Aside from the actual blood pump (the heart), blood flow consists of vessels that carry blood from the heart (arteries, rich in oxygen and nutrients) and vessels that carry blood to the heart (veins , low oxygen and nutrient-poor, gas-rich residual). By cons, in the pulmonary circulation (the heart to the lungs to the heart and lungs), the situation is reversed.

When sitting, standing and during walking, the blood must go back in the leg veins. This transport problem is overcome by healthy veins through two mechanisms: the venous valves prevent backflow of blood down and the calf muscles, which play a pump, provide support to the transport of blood in the Basin and the abdominal area. In the presence of venous disease, there is however a congestion of fluid in the legs.

Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

Vein forms

Vein alteration types

Varicose Veins

Normally, the venous valves prevent blood from flowing back into the venous leg. In case of valvular insufficiency of the veins, the valves are no longer completely waterproof and can prevent backflow of blood.

For this reason, the venous blood from deep veins – under higher pressure than the superficial veins – the superficial venous system footprint. The direction of blood flow is reversed, resulting in damage or even destruction of other venous valves. Thus, the veins dilate, stretch and become tortuous (varicose veins =), and mild edema (swollen legs) may form.

The valvular insufficiency is a cause of chronic venous hypertension, which in turn is responsible for venous congestion.

Varicose veins affect first small cutaneous veins and progressively larger veins and finally the great and small saphenous vein. Surgery must be considered.


Spider veins are small cutaneous vessels communicating that have an appearance of spots, branches or stars. They are considered the first sign of poor venous circulation. Spider veins are simply tiny alterations in cutaneous veins.

Like varicose veins, these veins have lost much of their elasticity and expand uncontrollably. Spider veins are often highly visible in the area of the feet and legs.

These vascular changes are painful but rarely present a variety of aesthetic problems for patients and reported a disturbance of venous circulation in the legs.

Varicose Veins Causes

In principle, all the veins can be prone to varicose veins, they are however more common in the legs. Hemorrhoids and esophageal varices occurring in liver diseases are another variety of varicose veins.

The valvular insufficiency is a cause of chronic venous hypertension.
Chronic venous hypertension causes venous congestion. There is some genetic predisposition. Pregnant women often suffer from varicose veins.

Moreover, jobs involving prolonged sitting and standing positions also favor the appearance of varicose veins. From a statistical standpoint, nearly one in two women and nearly one in four men with varicose veins in the second half of life.

Varicose Veins Risk Factors

  • Familial predisposition, inadequate tissue
  • Female : the female sex hormones (estrogen) can cause a loosening of connective tissue.
  • Lack of physical activity: As described above, activities in sitting or standing can impede blood flow chronically.
  • Overweight
  • Smoking

Varicose Veins Symptoms

At their beginning, varicose veins are often manifested by feelings of heaviness, fatigue and tension in the legs.

Night cramps in the legs can occur. In addition, varicose veins are tortuous vessels easily recognizable. Subsequently, the legs become painful and blood circulation in the legs deteriorates. Finally, the legs swell, what is called edema or “water in the legs.”

The two legs can be affected simultaneously. It should be noted that other causes may be the cause of water accumulation in the legs, including heart failure, thrombosis etc..

Thereafter, edema may cause circulation problems because of the increased pressure in the tissues. In this case, the fabric may not be adequately supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Without proper treatment, the skin opens (“open legs”) and a venous ulcer is formed.

Varicose Veins Diagnosis

Spider veins are visible to the naked eye. Varicose veins can be palpated by the doctor. A specific examination, Doppler ultrasound, allows doctors to see veins and examine the venous blood circulation.

In some cases, a radiograph with contrast (venography) should be practiced.

Varicose Veins Treatment Options

The treatment aims to stop incontinence venous valves, to prevent or reduce edema and promote tissue oxygen supply and nutrients. In addition to the cosmetic problem, varicose veins untreated can lead to venous ulcers.

Spider veins are usually ossified under local anesthesia.

In cases of mild to moderate, bands or stockings are indicated. This measure is however symptomatic only and will not remove varicose veins. Of herbal medicines, including chestnut extract from India, can be effective in treating varicose veins. Ask your doctor or pharmacist. In mild cases of varicose veins, varicose veins against ointments may be applied by massage.

If significant edema, the use of diuretics is necessary.

In severe cases, surgery (stripping stripping =) becomes necessary. For these operations, different techniques are used. It is essential not only resect the dilated venous branches but also their points of intersection with deeper veins (ligation).

Varicose Veins Possible Complications

Due to the increased tissue pressure, edema can lead to circulatory problems. This can result in an under-supply tissues with oxygen and nutrients. Without proper treatment, the skin opens (“open legs”) and causes a venous ulcer.

Sometimes, after injury or trauma, varicose veins can bleed profusely.

Varicose Veins Preventive Measures

Elimination of risk factors such as overweight, physical inactivity and smoking. If predisposition to varicose veins, one should avoid the extreme heat like the sun and sauna. In contrast, Scottish showers (hot / cold) improve blood circulation and therefore the irrigation of the tissue.

Endurance sports, practiced regularly, such as running, swimming or cycling are good preventive measure against varicose veins. Avoid at all costs prolonged sitting or standing position or interrupt regularly by walking or lying down.

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