Varicose veins are usually obvious to the naked eye. If treatment is to be effective in patients with varicose veins or spider veins, one must determine if the patient’s varicose veins that are clearly visible are a consequence of non-working vein that we don’t see in the leg?
Diagnosis includes an accurate medical history and a careful physical examination of both legs but today duplex ultrasound has become standard use in patients with varicose veins in order to provide the best possible outcome for treatment.
You will be asked about your vein history. Your leg veins will be examined for their size and location as well as any skin changes or swelling. You will then be taken to our Ultrasound Suite where you will have a vascular ultrasound of your surface veins with particular attention to the “unseen source veins” such as saphenous veins and incompetent perforators.
Once the scan is complete, the different options that can be used to treat your specific vein condition (sclerotherapy, ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, laser vein therapy, Closure, or needle-incision phlebectomy) will be discussed thoroughly with you.
All your questions will be answered using terms that will clearly explain what you are having done. Pictures will also be taken of your legs. The consultation, ultrasound exam, pictures and treatment discussion will take about 30 to 45 minutes.
What is a Duplex Ultrasound scan/exam?
Duplex ultrasound is the ideal tool for evaluating patients with varicose veins. Duplex ultrasound can accurately pinpoint at which level the leaky valves are found in the superficial system. The ultrasound exam can also identify problems in the deep vein as well as other vein abnormalities.
Patients are taken into our ultrasound suite; the machine looks like a computer with a TV screen.
Warm gel is placed on the leg and a small, hand-held device called a transducer which is used to image your leg. The ultrasound image shows the veins as black circles and grey represents the remaining surrounding tissues and bone shows up as a white image. We can measure the size of the dilated varicose veins and the extent of blood going back down the leg through the “leaky” non-working valves.
The Capital Region Vein Centre has on its staff a full time, experienced vascular technician and a color flow duplex ultrasound imaging for a complete evaluation of the patient’s superficial and deep leg veins.