Varicose veins (varices) are usually a cosmetic problem, but sometimes also a medical problem for those affected. Due to a weakning of the venous wall and venous valves, the reflux of the blood to the heart is disturbed. The blood spills in the affected vein, thereby expanding its diameter and length. Consequently, varices are visible as thickened and often tortuous vessels.
A feeling of heaviness in the legs, a burning sensation in the area of the lower leg, or locally in the area of a varix, are typical symptoms indicating varicose veins. The variceal snag can go so far as to cause a permanent swelling and hardening of connective tissue in the lower limbs and hereby cause an oxygen undersupply of the skin. The result of which is an open spot on the lower leg, a so-called ‘ulcer’ (more precisely, ‘ulcus cruris venosum’).
A detailed examination of the legs and, in particular, thrombosis (clogging of a vessel – here a vein – due to blood clotting) is often already insightful. A thrombus is dangerous in so far, as parts of the clotted blood can enter the pulmonary circulation and cause a pulmonary embolism (obstruction of lung vessels). Additionally upon the diagnosis of varices, an ultrasound examination is performed. With that, thromboses can be ruled out and abnormal flow conditions can be detected and localized.
Depending on the severity and type of venous disease, the type of therapy for the patient concerned is determined, with their individual needs taken into account.