What is varix?
Simply defined, varix is a disease specific to humans, characterized by dilation and lengthening of a vein especially in the legs, accompanied by tortuosity. It has not been identified in any other mammalian. The reason of dilation in this system which is responsible for transporting blood from the legs to the heart (bottom to top) is dysfunction of the valves of our veins in the leg (venous insufficiency).
What are the symptoms of varix?
1. Edema: Often edema occurs in the ankle and the calf. Edema occurs especially towards the evening due to prolonged standing, and is not apparent when you get up in the morning.
2. Pain: It is a blunt and deep pain that develops due to prolonged standing and imposes weight on the leg. Pain is relieved by lifting the leg upward or lying for a while.
3. Itching: Itching accompanied by burning sensation and throbbing may develop in and around the ankle especially when change of color occurs.
4. Night cramps, tiredness and tension: Restlessness in legs and the feeling of not knowing where to place your feet which especially occur after prolonged starting or long journeys may be signs of varix.
5. Thrombophlebitis: Thrombophlebitis is characterized by post-traumatic or spontaneous clotting of enlarged bone structures and superficial inflammation. The skin becomes red, hot and excessively sensitive. It may disappear spontaneously or with treatment, but may relapse.
6. Skin changes: Changes may occur in a wide perspective from color changes to open and non-healing lesions.
7. Bleeding: It is the only case that constitutes urgency. Due to high pressure, varix bleedings may be serious. Bleeding is generally stopped with sufficient compression.
How is varix diagnosed?
Edema (swelling), change of skin color and presence of venous ulcers which are clinical signs of chronic venous disease are generally sufficient to diagnose venous hypertension without applying diagnostic methods. However, in some suspicious cases, diagnostic methods are employed to finalize the diagnosis and identify the exact cause (reflux, occlusion or venous pump dysfunction), and to determine the exact location and level of the disease. Today, three major diagnostic methods are preferred:
2. Contrast venography
3. Magnetic Resonance venography