What is varicose veins?

Varicose veins are defined as the extension of the superficial veins for various reasons and becoming twisted and enlarged. It is a disease that has been known since ancient times. Varicose veins sometimes only cause cosmetic discomfort. Sometimes they cause complaints of pain, cramps, feeling of fullness and swelling by standing. Although the exact cause of varicose veins is not known, it is not clear whether the actual onset is a defect in the vessel wall or damage to the valves. However, the causes of this disease;

Hereditary

There is a familial predisposition to varicose veins. In one study, it was reported that the probability of developing varicose veins is 60-70% in individuals whose parents have varicose veins).

– Deterioration of the vessel wall structure.
-Gender.
-Pregnancy

The reason for this is the hormonal balance that changes in the early period. As it is known, during pregnancy, the level of some hormones in the mother increases a lot. These hormones also affect the smooth muscles in the vessel wall and the vessels expand. It plays a role in the pressure and inactivity created by the leg veins on the inside of the abdomen due to the changes in hormones and the growth of the uterus.)

-Senility Weakness, inactivity and deterioration in vascular structure in the muscles.
-Other reasons, occlusion of deep veins, interconnection of arteries and veins.

Since there are no healthy statistics in our country, we do not know the exact frequency. When we look at the percentages in western societies alone, it can be predicted that 5 million individuals in Turkey have varicose veins in varying degrees. It is more common in women. While this rate is around 25-30% in women, it is between 7-40% in men. We estimate that 20 thousand people in Antalya have large-scale varicose veins and at least 40-50 thousand people have capillary varicose veins.

If large-scale varicose veins are not treated, they can lead to vascular inflammation, intravascular clot formation, and from there to the lungs. It can cause fatal complications (undesirable results) such as pulmonary embolism or infarction in 1% of cases. If you have varicose veins, which treatment method will be applied should be determined by a cardiovascular surgeon.

Anatomically, there are 3 types of varicose veins.

1. Large and greenish varicose veins
2. Varicose veins forming net-like structures under the skin
3. Red thread-shaped varicose veins

What are the degrees of the disease?

The severity of venous diseases is currently stated between 0-6:

Grade O: No visible vein disease
Grade 1: Thin varicose veins 1-3 mm in diameter
Grade 2: True varicose veins over 4 mm in diameter
Grade 3: Swelling in the leg
Grade 4: Brown-black changes in the skin
Grade 5: Skin changes and healed wound around ankle
Grade 6: Open wound (almost always on the inside of the ankle)

 

Complaints

Enlargements with a diameter of around 1 mm are called capillary varicose veins. Capillary varicose veins generally do not cause any complaints other than visual disturbances. Especially in varicose veins with a diameter of more than 3-4 mm, significant complaints begin in addition to visual disturbance. After standing for a long time, pain, swelling, tenderness and a feeling of heaviness may occur in the leg. These complaints become very evident towards the end of the day and patients describe their shoes as narrow. In female patients, complaints increase significantly during menstrual periods.

In patients with late varicose veins, swelling and skin discoloration (darkening, blackening) begin, especially on the inner side of the ankle. This area is itchy and the wound may open. These sores are typically large, but not deep. Treatment is very difficult. Long-lasting dressings are required to close these opened wounds.
Another undesirable result that may develop in untreated varicose is infection. If infection develops, redness, regional temperature increase, tenderness and swelling occur in this area. In such a case, a cardiovascular surgeon should be consulted as soon as possible.