Who is a phlebologist
Phlebologist (from the ancient Greek phlebos – “vein”) – This is a vein specialist. That is, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various venous disorders.
Vascular (angio-) surgeons do about the same. Only phlebology is a narrower science. If the sphere of interest of the angiosurgeon is the vascular system of the whole organism as a whole, then the phlebologist concentrates strictly on the veins of the legs.
Why is it so important to keep track of your leg veins?
Veins in the legs are one of the most vulnerable vessels in the human body. And there is a reason for that.
The blood in our body moves in a certain vicious circle: from the heart – through the arteries, to the heart – through the veins. There are safety valves in the veins to ensure that the flow is not disturbed…. They work like gates that open only in one direction: they easily pass blood to the heart, but slam shut if it suddenly decides to flow back.
In most parts of the body, there are no problems with the functioning of the valves. But with the legs is a special story. Because of gravity, it is easier for blood in the veins to flow downward than upward toward the heart. As a result, the venous valves are under constant stress.
If any of them fails and begins to pass blood down, then the section of the vessel under the affected valve expands and deforms. This is how varicose veins develop.
Due to the constant stagnation of blood, the walls of the deformed vein can become inflamed. This, in turn, causes blood clots to form. If one of them breaks off, then along with the bloodstream it can enter the heart or lungs, blocking their supply of blood. And this is already deadly.
What diseases does a phlebologist treat?
A phlebologist deals with diseases that arise from circulatory disorders in the veins of the lower extremities. It:
- Phlebitis. This is the name of the inflammation of the venous wall.
- Thrombophlebitis. This is an inflammation of the walls of the veins, which is accompanied by the formation of blood clots.
- Phlebothrombosis. In this case, we are talking about clogging of a vein with a thrombus without prior inflammation of its walls.
- Thrombosis. It is also a blockage of a vessel with a blood clot.
- Chronic venous insufficiency. This is a condition in which the outflow of venous blood from the legs is impaired.
- Trophic ulcers. These are skin lesions that occur due to inflammation of the subcutaneous vessels.
What symptoms do you need to go to a phlebologist
Here are the signs, who say that the vessels in the legs are clearly unwell.
- You have spider veins or blue or red blood vessels visible under the skin. Varicose veins are often only a cosmetic problem and do not threaten health, but it is still worth consulting with a phlebologist.
- The protruding veins hurt or whine.
- The skin over the veins is itchy, irritated, and has pigmentation or sores.
- You regularly feel pain and burning sensation in your legs.
- Legs get very tired even after small walks.
- You have increased calf cramps. Most often they appear at night.
- The legs are noticeably swollen, especially in the evening.
Take time to consult with a doctor (a therapist is also suitable for a start), even if the symptoms are implicit, but you are at risk:
- you are a woman;
- one of your close relatives suffers from varicose veins and its consequences;
- you are an elderly person;
- you are overweight;
- your work is associated with a constant heavy load on your legs;
- you sit a lot and generally lead a sedentary lifestyle;
- You are pregnant.
What will a phlebologist do
The first task of the doctor is to establish what exactly is happening with the veins, and if there are circulatory disorders, then what are they and how far they have gone. To do this, the phlebologist will ask you about your health and symptoms, and examine your legs.
This is often enough to diagnose the disease. But in some cases, additional research may be required. – as a rule, ultrasound of the vessels of the legs. This will help to pinpoint problem areas and identify the extent of the lesion.
Depending on the results of the examination and the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe treatment… For example, a phlebologist may recommend that you wear compression stockings. They compress the legs tightly and physically prevent the veins from expanding. This helps prevent swelling and prevents varicose veins from progressing. However, stockings are only a temporary measure.
Additionally, you may be prescribed medications to prevent blood clots or creams to soothe irritated skin and heal wounds and ulcers.
In some cases, a minimally invasive (with minimal intervention) surgery will be required to glue the affected vein and direct the blood to other, healthy vessels. Modern procedures, which are carried out using a laser, radio frequency method or sclerotherapy, are performed under local anesthesia. With advanced lesions of the veins, they may need to be physically removed, but today it is rarely resorted to.