[Essential varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency].Rev Prat. 1994 Mar 15; 44(6):739-44.RP
Chronic venous insufficiency of the lower limbs has varied expressions: purely functional disorders, varicose veins, varicosities, oedema and trophic cutaneous disorders. For a given individual, these aspects are not necessarily increasing stages of severity of the same disease. On the other hand, many associations are possible; they are determined by the mechanism and the degree of chronic venous insufficiency, as well as by the clinical situation in which they develop. Work-up is based on careful clinical examination. Doppler examination and echography are useful for varices if radical treatment is considered. Ultrasound examination is required in case of cutaneous ulcer in order not to mistake a varicose ulcer for a trophic disorder due to incontinence of deep venous trunks, most often of thrombotic origin. Varicose veins can become complicated. Varicose haemorrhage requires immediate treatment by compression. Superficial phlebitis needs doppler examination and echography because it can be associated to deep venous thrombosis. With regard to varices and chronic venous insufficiency, treatment varies according to the concerns of the patients. Elastic compression stockings are useful whatever the clinical expression of the disease. "Phlebotropic" drugs can be used whenever venous insufficiency is associated with functional symptoms. The use of radical treatment, whether sclerosing injections or surgery, depends on anatomic lesions, the degree of venous incontinence and the severity of symptoms, but also on the desires of the patients, fully informed as to the advantages and the limitations of each technique. Personalized treatment is thus possible.