Vein disorders are not always visible; therefore, modern vein disease requires diagnostic techniques and tools in determining the cause and severity of the problem. Depending on the results of your screening examination, we may recommend additional tests such as diagnostic ultrasound to identify where and how badly your veins are damaged. The ultrasound examination is designed to evaluate the blood flow through the veins in your legs, localizing the problem areas.
Diagnostic ultrasound is a non-invasive test which allows evaluation of structures below the skin's surface. It is the test of choice for evaluating vein problems. The ultrasound is performed in our office by a Registered Vascular Ultrasound Technician (RVT). Warmed ultrasound gel is applied to the leg, then the ultrasound probe is moved up and down to examine the deep and superficial leg veins. Images are taken first to map out the anatomy and rule out blood clots in the veins. Notes will be made of what deeper veins the surface varicose veins connect to in order to plan the best treatment approach. These images are created by sound waves and no radiation is involved in the exam.
Once the anatomy has been evaluated, the function of the veins is checked. This involves squeezing the legs to force the blood forward through the veins and seeing if the valves close properly. When the valves are working, the blood simply stops after the squeeze is released. When the valves are incompetent, the blood flows back down toward the feet and refills the veins. This is called reflux.
Consultation Visit. We have many years of experience and are able to identify the cause of venous incompetence in all of our patients. Our providers perform the physical examinations and then correlate symptoms, physical examination findings, and the ultrasound analysis to make the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. During your initial consultation, it is very important to us that you have time to review the ultrasound scan with your provider. We will also review your history, symptoms, and initial exam to determine the next steps for evaluation.