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The Different Stages Of Varicose Veins

Stages of varicose vein

Understanding The Stages Of Varicose Vein

The Varicose vein is a severe growing across the world. The problem is usually seen in the lower limb and can affect daily life. Due to the surface of the vessels becoming thin, the walls cannot withstand the pressure of blood flow and become swollen. The primary stages of varicose veins might not be a concern. But as their severity increases, abnormalities start appearing.

Therefore, it is important to treat varicose veins by understanding the right stage. We will have a keen view of the different stages of varicose veins and how they will affect your lifestyle.

7 Different Stages Of Varicose Veins

Stage 1: Weakening Of Valves

The beginning stages of varicose veins does not appear physically or have symptoms. Therefore, it is difficult to detect the initial stage. In the first stage of varicose veins, the valves of the vessels become clogged, and blood flow starts to be impeded.

There is no primary swelling, but it can include indirect symptoms like itching, burning, or mild leg pain. With time, one can feel fatigue in the leg and pulsation in different parts of the lower limb. It is one of the prominent signs that you are suffering from the first stage of varicose veins.

Weakening of valves

Stage 2: Spider-Like Veins

The second is also known as the morphological phase, when the physical signs of varicose veins start to appear. Due to high blood pressure and low oxygen supply, the blood vessels appear bluish-purple with mild pain in the legs.

In the latter half of the second stage, one can see crawly or spider-like veins popping out of the skin. However, no potential swelling or pain is claimed at this stage. However, general symptoms like burning, itching, and fatigue are seen in some of the patients.

Stages of varicose vein - Spider vein

Stage 3: Swollen Veins(Varicosities)

It appears at the end of the fourth week. Primary swelling appears in the third stage. The initial swelling stage is painless and has no critical impacts. But with time, the swelling might cause pain, skin discolouration, burning, and itching around the veins.

If not treated in this stage, it can have severe effects, leading to loss of sensation and terrible pain. Moreover, according to specialized varicose doctors, the third stage is very sensitive and can show potential effects in contact with fabrics, oils, and skin creams. Therefore, it is better to consult a doctor and get treatment when symptoms appear.

Stages of varicose vein - Swollen Veins

Stage 4: Edema

If not treated during the third stage, the severity of varicosities will increase, and more disturbing signs will appear. In the final period of the third stage, or during the initial phase of the fourth stage, enlarged veins and edemas in lower limbs become prominent.

The impeded flow in vessels leads to edemas, bubble-like wraps filled with lymph-like fluid. Furthermore, due to the obstruction of the general path, fluid accumulates in lower parts like the ankle. Hence, most of the patients experience ankle swelling in this stage.

Stages of varicose vein - Edema

Stage 5: Ankle Changes

In the final phases of the fourth stage, we saw swelling near the ankle. These changes become prominent in the fifth stage. Patients’ ankles will be filled with spider veins, and significant swelling can be seen in the ankles. Edemas can appear due to prolonged standing, which is painful and can cause leg fatigue.

The emerging blue veins around the ankles symbolize the severity of the fifth stage and can cause problematic situations like venous eczema if not treated immediately. A group of ulcers can grow around the spider veins in the ankle, producing a severe itching and burning feeling.

Stages of varicose vein - Ankle Change

Stage 6: Skin Changes

Skin changes are unexpected in many cases, however, in some recent cases, it is reported as one of the common symptoms of the sixth stage. In this phase, the skin or affected areas of the lower limbs undergo discoloration initially and can turn yellow in the latter half. According to varicose doctors, these changes are due to abnormal flow of blood in the vessels and high affinity of carbon dioxide in the veins.

The density of coloration indicates the severity of swelling. Skin changes prominently help the varicose vein doctor detect operative areas and areas having maximum swelling.

Stages of varicose vein - Skin change

Stage 7: Ulcers

Appearance of ulcers is counted as the last stage of varicose veins. It is the most advanced stage, which causes painful swellings in different areas of veins. Patients in this stage suffer from predominant symptoms like lymphatic ulcers, grooved veins, painful cramps, and slow healing. Operation is the last way to treat such a condition.

Stages of varicose vein - Ulcers

Summarizing The Stages Of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins development typically takes place in different stages. The below table shows the first stage of varicose veins to last stage of varicose veins in detail.

StagesSymptoms
Stage 1This stage has no symptoms.
Stage 2Spider veins or telangiectasia are the potential symptoms of the second stage. However, bulging veins are not visible.
Stage 3Minor swelling of the veins can be seen at this stage. Skin discoloration also begins in the latter half of the 3rd stage.
Stage 4This stage includes some severe skin changes such as lipodermatosclerosis.
Stage 5Discomfort in walking and fatigue. Ulcers become even more painful in this stage.
Stage 6Discomfort in walking and fatigue. Ulcers become even more painful in this stage.
Stage 7Advanced ulcers with significant skin changes and severe discomfort.

Treatment For All Stages Of Varicose Veins

Understanding the varicose veins stages and plan for an early treatment is necessary to ensure safety. Experienced doctors must treat varicose veins as they can help you with the right advice, accurate treatment, and timely healing.

At Advanced Medical Group, we provide expert treatment of varicose veins with latest proven techniques and ensure you recover on time.

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Fatima Shaik MD

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Fatima Shaik is a board certified internist and cardiologist. She specializes in general cardiology and heart rhythm disorders. She cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City and North Bergen. She also performs procedures at Jersey City Medical Center.

She completed her undergraduate education at NYU and received her MD degree for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She completed her residency training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and her cardiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Queens. She went on for advanced training in electrophysiology at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ.
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Prior to joining Advanced Medical Group, Samaniego studied public healthcare in Zambia and assisted in providing care to the local community. He has also presented research at the annual meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Samaniego achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America and volunteered with Troop 454 for scouts with special needs and the Freehold Public Library. In his free time, Samaniego volunteers with his local church community service and youth programs.

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Richard began his undergraduate education in medicine at Stanley Medical College in India. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University before relocating to New York City.

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Throughout his career, Richard has stayed involved in numerous research projects and previously served as a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). Richard went on to become the director of the first cardiac catheterization and interventional laboratory in Jersey City and has extensive training in vein treatments.

To ensure he continues staying up to date with the latest research and techniques, Richard maintains his board memberships. He’s board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

Being fluent in English,  Spanish, and Tamil gives Richard the opportunity to communicate with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Richard is currently accepting new patients.