Venous diseases

Chronic and acute conditions

Venous diseases

What is a venous disorder?

The arterial system transports the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood into the outer regions of the body and into all cells. Following this, the venous system takes on the removal of the blood, from which oxygen and nutrients have been taken, back to the heart (venous return). Venous diseases occur if the venous return system no longer functions properly.

Here you can find out everything about the causes, risk factors, self-prevention and treatment for venous diseases.

Chronic venous diseases

Acute venous diseases

Symptoms and signs – how do you diagnose venous diseases?

Venous disorders are a common problem. Signs of venous diseases can be changes in the legs that are initially only noticeable from a cosmetic point of view but do not cause any pain, such as  spider veins. If left untreated, they can lead to serious health problems. A venous disorder should not be underestimated. Varicose veins are more than just a question of aesthetics: If left untreated, they can lead to serious diseases. Adequate treatment can reduce symptoms and may improve the course of the disease. 

For example, thick veins, or varicose veins, can develop: Enlarged surface veins protrude like nodules from under the skin, are tortuous and visible. Doctors refer to this as a varicose vein disorder or sometimes as varicosis.

Heavy, tierd, an itching sensation, a tingling sensation or swollen ankles may indicate vein weakness. But: If you recognise the signs and consult a doctor at an early stage, you can reduce the symptoms and improve your quality of life.

The vein check is a simple, fast and painless way to diagnose venous disease with a vein function measurement 

With a vein check you will receive an initial indication of how well your veins are functioning. The vein function measurement can be carried out using light reflection rheography (LRR). This measures how quickly the veins refill with blood. The normal value is about 25 seconds; a shorter refill time may indicate vein weakness. 

Ask your doctor or a medical supply store about a vein function measurement.

Stages of chronic venous disease – the CEAP classification

Doctors define the severity of chronic venous diseases using the so-called CEAP classification1. The clinical findings range from C0 (no signs) to C6 (most severe form):

  • C = Clinic (clinical findings)
  • E = Etiology (causes / trigger of the disorder)
  • A = Anatomy (anatomical localisation)
  • P = Pathophysiology (pathological dysfunction)
Stage Changes
C 0No visible signs of venous disease
C 1     Telangiectasias (spider veins)
C 2Varicosis (= varicose vein disorder) without clinical indication of a chronic venous insufficiency (= permanent vein weakness)
C 3Varicosis (= varicose vein disorder) with oedema (swelling)
C 4Varicosis (= varicose vein disorder) with trophic skin changes, subdivided into:
C 4aPigmentation (= skin changes) or eczema (= dermatitis, inflammatory skin reaction)
C 4bLipodermatosclerosis (= hardening of the subcutaneous fatty tissue) or atrophie blanche
C 5Varicosis (= varicose vein disorder) with healed ulcus cruris venosum (= leg ulcer, venous-related lower leg ulcer)
C 6Varicosis (= varicose vein disorder) with florid ulcus cruris venosum (= leg ulcer, venous-related lower leg ulcer)

Preventing venous diseases

Take preventative action: Tips for your everyday life to protect against venous disease:

  • Exercise: Make exercise a priority following the motto, “Better to walk and lie down than sit and stand”. Change your position often and raise your legs.
  • Sport and exercise: Make exercise a priority following the motto, “Better to walk and lie down than sit and stand”. Change your position often and raise your legs.
  • Healthy diet: How to eat a healthy, balanced diet. 
  • Optimise your weight: Reduce any excess weight.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose clothing and swap your high heels for flat shoes so that your calf muscle pump can work sufficiently.Sie sich bequem und locker und ersetzen Sie Ihre High Heels durch flache Schuhe, damit Ihre Wadenmuskelpumpe ausreichend arbeiten kann.
  • Shower: Rinse your feet regularly with cold water so that your veins contract and the blood can flow better.

Basic therapy for venous diseases: Medical compression stockings

Wearing medical compression stockings regularly is the basic therapy for patients with vein problems. The stockings are particularly effective in combination with exercise: The muscle pumps are activated and the venous valves close better, enabling them to transport blood to the heart. Swelling and the sensation of tightness subside; the legs feel more relaxed. Regularly wearing medical compression stockings significantly eases symptoms, increases quality of life and can prevent thrombosis.

Vein problems – what can I do? Which doctors treat venous diseases?

If you are experiencing any symptoms or signs of venous disease, or if the vein check gives an initial indication that you have limited vein function, then please consult your doctor.
Ensure the exact cause is clarified. After diagnosis, the doctor can start the appropriate treatment.

Phlebologists specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases, particularly venous diseases.

A chronic venous disorder is not curable, but is very treatable.

Phlebologists specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases, particularly venous diseases.

There are numerous treatment options even in advanced clinical conditions. Talk to your doctor. The doctor will start appropriate treatment measures depending on the degree of severity and criteria that apply to the individual patient.

medi products for venous diseases

Thanks to their breathable, stretchy material, medical compression stockings are very comfortable for men and women to wear and are adapted to meet your individual needs as a patient. Profit from modern, technologically advanced & tried-and-tested vein therapy with state-of-the-art medical compression stockings. They look the same as classic fine stockings or knee socks for men, but have an additional vein-supporting function.

Find out more about compression stockings by medi here.

Show source

1 Rabe, Eberhard; Gerlach, Horst E. (2005): Praktische Phlebologie. 2. überarb. A. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag.

Your doctor makes the diagnosis and decides on the therapy. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe wound therapy products. The patient is advised by trained personnel (e.g. in a medical supply store, pharmacy, wound centre). After this, the patient receives products that are customised to meet their individual needs.