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Stages of Vein Disease

Stages of Vein Disease St Louis Vein Treatment

stages of venous insufficiency

Vein disease affects everyone differently. One person may have only mild symptoms and a few visible veins. However, someone else may have more significant symptoms such as aching, burning in their legs and ropey veins with swelling in their legs. The only thing for certain is that without treatment, vein disease worsens over time.

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 1 “Spider Veins”

This describes disease that occurs in tiny veins in the skin. The dilated veins and capillary vessels are called telangectasias and are more commonly called “spider veins.” Spider veins occur in 40% of woman and 18% of men. Over half of the population even with this mildest form of vein disease has symptoms associated with this class of vein disease.

Clinical Stages of Spider Veins

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 2 “Varicose Veins”

This is the classification for varicose, large, dilated superficial veins. People often think of this stage when they think of vein disease. Over 75% of people with this stage of disease have symptoms that interfere with their life and activity.

Clinical Stages of Varicose Veins

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 3 “Leg Edema”

Slightly more advanced vein disease causes swelling of in the legs. The backflow in the venous system interferes with the body’s ability to reabsorb fluid, leading to swelling of the leg. This swelling can resolve at the end of the day when legs are elevated. Vein disease is the most common cause of leg swelling.

Clinical Stages Leg Edema

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 4 “Skin Changes”

Over time, venous congestion leads to changes in the skin. The skin becomes thinner and discolored to reddish brown or whitish in color. At this stage of vein disease the skin is easily injured and heals slowly. Many people mistake this stage for dermatitis, cellulitis, bruising or a skin disorder.

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 4 “Skin Changes”

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 5-6 “Leg Ulcers”

These are the most advanced forms of superficial vein disease. Venous ulcers are caused by venous congestion that has progressed to point that it interferes with ability for blood flow to provide nutrition to skin. This makes any skin injury heal very slowly, if at all. Without treatment of the underlying vein disease, 20% of these ulcers remain unhealed at 2 years. Class 5 vein is used to describe legs with healed venous ulcers. Clinical Class 6 Vein Disease is used to describe legs with active ulcers. Venous disease is the most common cause of ulcers on the leg. However many people with leg ulcers do not know there are effective treatments for them.

Clinical Stages of Vein Disease: Class 5-6 “Leg Ulcers”


How Do You Diagnose Vein Disease?

An examination of the legs by an experienced surgeon like Dr. Wright is usually all that is required to diagnose varicose veins. This examination may include the use of a small noninvasive machine to detect blood flowing the wrong way in the varicose veins. There is usually no need for X-rays or blood tests. If varicose veins are diagnosed, a more detailed assessment with an ultrasound machine can take pictures of the veins. This is done to ensure that appropriate treatment is planned.

Diagram of Vein Diseases

How Do Vein Valves Play A Role in Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins occur when the valves in these superficial veins malfunction. The vein walls can lose elasticity (due to age, hormones or heredity) causing them to stretch. When this occurs, valves may be unable to close, allowing blood that should be moving towards the heart to flow backward (venous reflux). Blood collects in lower veins causing them to enlarge and become varicose. In this manner, faulty valves high on the leg may cause varicose veins lower down (e.g., mid or lower leg).

Dr. Wright’s vein treatment results are undeniable, check out his before and after pictures.

Today was my last treatment by Dr. Wright for varicose veins in my right calf. He was able to relieve the pain after the first treatment and, the veins have virtually disappeared. If fear is causing you to put off treatment, don’t wait any longer. At the initial exam and consultation, Dr. Wright and his assistant went out of their way to make sure I understood what was needed. They took care of getting a pre-approval from my insurance in just a few days. Scheduling was easy and, I resumed my normal activities immediately following each appointment.

– Fred