To date, all the symptoms and manifestations of varicose veins that affect men and women of all ages have been studied. This allows for timely diagnosis and treatment. If you want to know how many stages of varicose veins exist and figure out what changes correspond to each, let’s try again.
Stages of varicose veins in the lower extremities
It is extremely important to have detailed information about the stages of varicose veins. This allows preventive measures to be taken and the health of the feet to be maintained, avoiding serious problems. Any discomfort in the lower extremities, fatigue and swelling can be the first sign of varicose veins in the initial stage. To understand the level of problem we are dealing with, we need to be familiar with the stages in which the disease develops. Varicose veins have several classifications and stages, all of which allow the identification of signs of venous disease.
Classification of varicose veins in the limbs according to CEAP
Phlebologists around the world use the CEAP classification to determine the stage of lower limb varicose veins. The disease is divided into 7 stages:
- C0 - no visible signs of varicose veins in the lower extremities. The initial stage may be characterized by fatigue of the legs, the patient complains of cramps and difficulties.
- C1 - manifestation of telangiectasia - subcutaneous capillary network, slight dilation of reticular veins up to 2-3 mm in diameter. In this stage of varicose veins, in addition to spider veins, hemodynamic disorders and other symptoms of venous insufficiency can be diagnosed. Initial varicose veins do not require surgery. The removal procedures are purely cosmetic.
- C2 - visible varicose veins. Subcutaneous veins larger than 3 mm in diameter, varicose nodules, and bumps are clearly visible at this stage. The superficial vein valve does not work properly, causing the blood microcirculation to be disturbed. If the initial stage of varicose veins does not require surgery, your doctor may offer a solution to the problem using modern surgical techniques.
- C3 - at this stage of varicose veins, edema of the limbs is added to the visible changes in the veins. This regularly worries the patient, causing additional discomfort while walking. At this stage, an integrated approach is often used to treat varicose veins in the lower extremities. This includes thorough diagnosis, medication, surgery, and long-term observation by a professional.
- C4 - Discolouration and thinning of the skin, itching, burns and consequent venous eczema may occur. In the zone of trophic changes, the tissues take on a brown tint, and the inflamed area may become wet and overcast. If left untreated, such varicose veins can lead to a more severe stage of the disease. In most cases, venous eczema is not easily reversible.
- C5 - healed trophic ulcer. C6 - open trophic ulcer. Both stages of varicose veins in the legs manifest as a violation of the integrity of the skin and cause unbearable pain to the patient. In addition, peptic ulcer leads to a general decrease in the body's immunity. Persistent open wounds serve as a breeding ground for a variety of infections that can aggravate the condition. Trophic varicose veins in the legs are the last stage to be treated by removing the patient’s vein. Topical treatment does not work.
It should be understood that not only varicose veins in the C6 stage can cause peptic ulcer. There are other diseases that are key factors in the development of trophic ulcers. The methods of treatment are completely different in each case, so it is extremely important to make an accurate diagnosis.
The first stage of varicose veins: description and symptoms
A narrower classification of the disease is used for informational purposes to understand the stages of varicose veins in the lower extremities.
The compensatory stage, when varicose veins are least pronounced, is the initial stage characterized by mild discomfort in the legs during long walks or work, and the presence of spider veins. There is no pronounced deformation of the vessel walls. The risk of the stage of varicose veins is that the disease is asymptomatic. The body’s innate mechanisms undertake to "correct" venous abnormalities and compensate for their full work.
Signs of varicose veins in the early stages
- Fatigue and difficulty in the legs;
- Small swelling;
- Presence of spider veins.
How to stop varicose veins in the initial stage?
Be sure to see a doctor when the first symptoms appear. Stage 1 varicose veins is a cosmetic disease. If the diagnosis did not reveal other preconditions and "bad" heredity, then we can talk about a mild form of the disease, which has a lifestyle rather than a more severe etiology. You can minimize the risks by following the simple recommendations for the initial stage of varicose veins:
- Lead an active lifestyle: running, walking, swimming, etc. ;
- Do not gain weight;
- wear comfortable shoes;
- Perform special exercises for the legs.
Varicose veins Stage 2: description and symptoms
The stage of subcompensation - varicose veins on the legs become more noticeable and symptoms intensify. Added aching pain and frequent cramps. The skin may become bluish and a burning sensation and itching may occur at the site of venous nodules and bumps. At this stage of varicose veins, minimally invasive surgery, EVLT, and compression stockings are recommended.
Varicose veins Section 3: Description and symptoms
The stage of decompensation is the last stage of varicose veins, characterized by severe disturbances in venous circulation. They do not perform the functions of the body and the compensatory mechanisms cannot cope with their functions.
At this stage in the development of varicose veins, hyperpigmentation of the skin appears, the tissues do not receive enough food, they are exhausted, resulting in the formation of trophic ulcers. The veins are severely deformed and thrombophlebitis can develop. If not treated properly, stage 3 varicose veins can cause serious damage to your health, even with irreversible consequences.
In some sources, stage 4 varicose veins are distinguished, which generally corresponds to the C6 classification. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the treatment process at all stages of the development of varicose veins. Only an integrated approach will achieve effective results and remove not only the symptoms but also the cause of the disease.
As a venotonic agent, many experts recommend a French drug that has been shown to be an angioprotective agent, improving blood circulation and having a draining effect on the lymphatic system. It is advisable to take the tablets not only in the first stage of varicose veins, but also in the stage of rehabilitation after a more severe course of the disease. The dose and duration of the medicine are only determined by your doctor.