Stages of varicose veins: features of the development of the disease

Varicose veins are understood as a pronounced progressive dilation of the vessels of the lower extremities, followed by their elongation, dilation, decrease in resistance and morphological changes in the walls. The disease is accompanied by severe thinning of the venous network, disruption of normal blood flow, congestion of blood in the venous lumen. The pathology has no gender differences; it can occur in both women and men with the same frequency at any age. In some photos you can see the fundamental differences between vein lesions on the legs in men and women. Despite this, it is women who develop venous disease. In addition to general external symptoms, there are a number of other diagnostic methods, which are based on differential diagnostics based on the types of flow, the nature of damage to the venous vascular lumens, the stages of development and the degree of pathological transformations. The need to classify a disease is to define different medical approaches to therapy. Treatment will depend on the stage of the varicose veins and is designed to significantly improve the patient's quality of life.

varicose veins on the leg

Degrees in pathology

The degree of varicose veins according to the severity of the course of the disease, the nature of varicose enlargement completely determine the structural changes of the vascular walls. For each stage, there are certain nomenclature units that clearly characterize the degree of vascular lesions on the legs. Phlebologists conditionally distinguish several stages in the development of pathological changes, with which you can also compare photo examples:

  • I graduate. Moderate transformation of the subcutaneous vessels, especially the lower legs. The patient's complaints are reduced to the external manifestations of the disease (fatigue of the lower extremities, weak venous pattern, pain). With the initial degree of varicose veins in the legs, it is important to start treatment even before complications appear.
  • II degree. Adhesion of signs of impaired blood outflow in the lower legs, pasty limbs, weak dull pain in the feet and calf muscles). Unpleasant symptoms of varicose veins appear towards the end of the working day. Varicose veins of the 2nd degree in some patients may have the same symptoms as the first. Therapy can be started with a visit to beauty parlors. You can see a photo of the pathology in the Internet sources. With the second degree of varicose veins, it is practically no different from the first.
  • Phase III. Insufficiency of venous valves in varicose veins. Increased tortuosity of the veins in the lower limbs, swelling of the feet, discoloration of the skin to dark blue, the appearance of a tendency to ulceration of the veins. Grade 3 varicose veins are accompanied by pain with little physical exertion. Vascular disease of the legs is characterized by the initial sclerosis of the epidermal layers in the lower extremities.
  • Phase IV. Excessive tortuosity of the vascular pattern during varicose transformation, relief of the skin of the extremities, volumetric swelling of the subcutaneous vessels, the formation of trophic ulcers without signs of healing. Serious diseases often require surgery.
symptoms of varicose veins of the first stage

In the initial stage of the disease, the main symptom is fatigue in the lower limbs.

If the first two stages of varicose veins in one disease can be eliminated in several sessions with a professional cosmetologist-phlebologist, then the rest of the clinical manifestations of the disease include complex treatment.

It is important to start eliminating the disease early. Severe varicose veins do not respond well to therapy.

The onset of the development of the disease may not always be accompanied by a vivid symptomatic picture. For example, on dark skin, the first signs of the disease can appear only at the 3rd stage of development.

Many patient photos can be seen in numerous phlebology sources. In addition to the development of the disease in stages, there is a classification in stages.

Stages of development of the disease

The stages of development of pathology fully reflect the classification of the degrees of development of pathological changes in the venous lumen. The phlebologist proposed the classification of the disease into classes and divided them into the following groups:

  • Compensation stage of group A. For the stage of varicose veins in the lower legs, only patient complaints about minor defects, as well as leg fatigue, are characteristic. There are no pronounced signs of blood stagnation during visual examination and palpation. There is no pain, swelling of the legs and relief of the skin. With the onset of stage A, varicose veins can be local in nature and are often noted in the areas below the knees.
  • Group B compensation stage (varicose vein stage). It is a transient phase of undercompensation, expressed in patient complaints of pain, constant swelling after a hard day. Many in this stage of varicose veins notice a swollen sensation in the limbs. Treatment of varicose veins is a long process.
  • Stage of decompensation with trophic ulcers and without them. The stage of the disease is characterized by the manifestation of the failure of the venous valves and the discharge of blood into the deep venous lumens. Pain in the legs (calf) at this stage becomes intense, appears with any load. There are marked changes in the skin, ranging from excessive pigmentation to trophic ulcers that do not heal. The skin tone takes on dark colors, the structure of the upper layer of the skin merges with the lower ones, becomes dry, with a white patina, and the trauma increases. In the last stage of varicose veins, treatment is possible only surgically.
symptoms of varicose veins in the third stage

Women are more sensitive to varicose veins. A significant adverse factor is hereditary predisposition.

With the help of the stages and degree of the disease, varicose veins are distinguished from other pathologies with similar symptoms.

The stages of varicose veins together with the degrees help to identify varicose veins from other vascular pathologies of the legs, to start timely and high-quality treatment.

Varicose blood vessels (especially in the lower legs) are aggravated by the patient's motor activity, which worsens the prognosis and recovery from the disease.

In numerous photos it can be seen how pathological changes in the extremities appear outwardly in the early or late stages.

Separation from CEAP

Based on the standards for the international identification of the developmental stages of varicose enlargements in the lower legs, in the autumn of 1994, a general classification CEAP was established, taking into account the following groups to identify disorders in order to initiate treatment quick:

  • According to the clinical picture (C).
  • For the etiological characteristics (E).
  • Location of affected vessels (A).
  • Pathogenetic algorithm for the progression of lower limb disease (P).

Among doctors who practice the treatment of varicose veins, the section that unites group C has gained great popularity. In group C, several clinical subclasses of varicose veins of the lower limbs are noted in particular:

  • 0 - external signs of vascular insufficiency of the legs are not determined by visual examination and palpation.
  • Class 1 - the onset of telangiectasias and bleeding of the venous pattern in the extremities.
  • Class 2 - visual identification of varicose veins.
  • Class 3 - the appearance of pasty limbs, significant varicose vascular lumen.
  • Class 4 - external dermatological changes with varicose veins: excessive pigmentation of the lower parts of the legs, peeling, lipodermatosclerosis.
  • Class 5 - the appearance of scars on the legs from healed ulcers.
  • Class 6 - the appearance of open trophic ulcers.
trophic ulcer with advanced varicose veins

The CEAP classification of varicose enlargement allows you to gradually determine the progression of pathological changes in the vascular picture of the lower extremities and to prescribe additional treatments. Unfortunately, the last stages of the disease are practically not amenable to a known adequate treatment.

It is worth noting the impossibility of treating advanced venous diseases at home using folk methods. For adequate therapy, drugs, instrumental cosmetology, physiotherapy and surgery are used.

Timely treatment of pathological changes in the veins and blood vessels in the lower regions of the ankle, as well as preventive measures against the onset of the disease, will preserve the beauty of the legs for many years to come.