Stages of varicose veins, the first signs of varicose veins in the legs

Varicose veins are a serious problem that can later become CVI and lead to more serious disease consequences. Early varicose veins are easier to heal than later ones. Also, depending on at which stage the disease occurs, it will depend on how the disease is treated and what the prognosis is. A special classification directly defines all these metrics. This is why it is important to determine the extent of blood vessel damage in order to develop the correct treatment plan.


The classification of this disease provides a division of the clinical presentation, not only depending on the degree of varicose veins, but also on the affected organ or body part. This directly affects how varicose veins are healed.

As a general rule, classification involves the following parts:

  • Varicose veins in the legs;
  • Anal, rectal injury (haemorrhoids);
  • damage the blood vessels of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines;
  • varicocele (injury to the testis and spermatic cord);
  • Numerous irregularities occur in the work of blood vessels in organs and body parts.

We must immediately stipulate that the manifestation of varicose veins of the lower extremities is the most common type of problem. It should also be understood that the presence of one species does not guarantee the absence of any other species.

The reason is that any form has prerequisites. If so, the ships are likely damaged anywhere else. That's why, if a person is diagnosed with one of these varicose veins, treatment should be started as soon as possible, and steps should be taken to prevent the problem from happening elsewhere.

The presentation of varicose veins of the lower extremities is one of the most common problems worldwide. About a quarter of women have varicose veins. Other species are less common, but still worth knowing about.

You also need to know what each of these species is like. Almost always, people just ignore the first symptoms of varicose veins, but even if there are external signs, you can easily guess the problem and consult a doctor. But we have to understand: while the extent of varicose veins is considered on a general scale by general medical standards, at the same time they manifest in completely different ways.

Furthermore, to facilitate the treatment process, diseases are often classified according to various signs and factors. Major groups include:

  1. Clinical manifestations (during examination there are no such symptoms, they appear in the form of hyperpigmentation, swelling, the presence of ulcers).
  2. Depending on the degree of complications (swelling, thrombophlebitis of the lower extremities, formation of ulcerative manifestations, bleeding from ulcers, whether the lumen of the vessel is narrowed or blocked by a thrombus).
  3. Underlying cause (diabetes, genetic predisposition, pregnancy).

For each of these points, the disease can be classified. This is important because, in order to form a complete clinical picture, it is important to assess the various features of the disease in order to be able to draw complete conclusions about its nature. It will depend on whether surgery can be avoided and which treatment is ideal in this situation.


In this disease, several stages of development are usually considered. Symptoms, treatment, and main manifestations depend directly on this. As a general rule, one could even say that usually with each subsequent stage, the symptoms become more pronounced and pronounced. But there are also specific manifestations that are only characterized in subsequent stages.

In the photo, you can clearly see the difference in the external signs of the disease at each stage. This will help you roughly orient yourself and draw conclusions about how far the disease has started.

The developmental stages of varicose veins of the lower extremities

In general, the following main stages of disease development are distinguished:

The first stage

In most cases it is completely asymptomatic. In an average year, it becomes second-degree varicose veins. The transition to this stage is sometimes quicker if there are additional predisposing factors - in each case, the course of the disease is individual.

The initial stages of varicose veins in the legs can often be felt by generalized fatigue and swelling in the legs, but often even a doctor cannot diagnose first-degree varicose veins without a special ultrasound.

second stage

Second-degree varicose veins are already easier to diagnose because it has external signs -- spider veins on the legs. In addition, the twitching, numbness, swelling, and noticeable pain in the extremities that start at night can be felt by oneself. Second-degree varicose veins usually do not require surgical intervention.

The second stage of varicose veins can be easily diagnosed without examination because there are fairly obvious manifestations. At the same time, if there is damage to the second-degree blood vessel wall, without the right treatment, the problem will not be resolved—prescriptions and lifestyle adjustments are required.

The third phase

Third-degree varicose veins are characterized by severe pathological changes. If the third stage is left untreated, then this can easily lead to the development of serious complications that can only be managed surgically. Third-degree varicose veins are characterized by marked protrusion of the walls of the blood vessels—the veins can be seen even with the naked eye. The skin also has noticeable hyperpigmentation and dryness.

In this context, the skin becomes very sensitive to external damage - even minor damage can lead to the formation of ulcers and wounds. Pain syndrome also becomes very noticeable - even at night and when resting in the morning. One of the manifestations of this stage is also lower extremity thrombophlebitis as a characteristic complication.

If no measures are taken, the problem can easily progress further into the purulent stage, where the inflammatory process spreads to all blood vessels throughout the body.

fourth stage

Sometimes lower extremity thrombophlebitis is isolated in the fourth stage, but this is not entirely true. This manifestation is not an inevitable stage of the continuous development of the disease and can only occur as one of the complications of the problem. Nutritional ulcers, which often occur at the site of injury, are also complications. In particularly severe cases, if treatment is not started, there may even be gangrene in this part of the extremity due to ulcers that continue to not heal.

Diagnosis and Prognosis

At the first sign of varicose veins in the legs, you need to contact a phlebologist. Only he can determine the stage of development of the disease. It depends on how much the vessel wall has been affected and the vessel lumen is disturbed.

The initial stages of VRV are usually easy to treat. The treatment of varicose veins (treatment methods and characteristics) directly depends on this. It will also determine if surgery is needed. Sometimes, even neglected varicose veins can be easily defeated if the treatment is chosen correctly.

The initial stages of varicose veins are easy to treat, so it's best to start treating varicose veins in the legs or elsewhere as soon as possible to prevent them from developing further.

Additionally, the stage of varicose veins can also affect a person's limitations. For example, varicose veins of degree 1 usually do not require any significant restriction of physical activity, and in later stages require the selection of special gymnastics and classes. The same applies to general restrictions (weight lifting, physical stress).

In conclusion, it is worth noting again that varicose veins are traditionally divided into 4 stages. Each stage of varicose veins has its own presentation. This classification also determines how varicose veins are treated. Beating the disease is much easier in the early stages. This is why it is important to consult a doctor when only the initial stages of varicose veins occur - then the prognosis will be more favorable. Only an experienced doctor can determine the stage of varicose veins based on research, but for whatever reason, everyone in a potential risk group should know how varicose veins start.