Diagnosis of varicose veins in the legs

Quite often the veins on the skin surface are small part of a person’s varicose "bad" veins that are visible to the naked eye. The only way to know for sure is an ultrasound examination performed by experienced physicians that allows a glimpse into the venous system to properly assess the condition of the veins.


There are two factors that go into the initial consultation. The first is the physical examination by the doctor, followed by an ultrasound examination (Doppler sonography, duplex scanning) in the experienced hands. The entire visit takes approximately 45 minutes. During the consultation the doctor will inquire in details about your health and symptoms trying to figure out the possible causes of complaints which will more accurately determine the condition of the veins. Your responses will help the doctor and ultrasound technician pinpoint in what to look for during the ultrasound.

The hardest thing in medicine is to make a correct diagnosis. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to an incorrect treatment, which in turn can achieve no results. The diagnostic equipment is not the deciding factor that makes the diagnosis although it is very important. The most important is to consult a medical professional who specializing in vein disease and understands and correctly interpret the diagnostic data. The physician must also know how to apply the data to each patient individually. Last, a good vein specialist should clearly distinguish between the different signs of venous disease. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis determines the successful outcome of varicose vein treatment by creating an individualized treatment plan.

It is important to establish a link between the occurrence of varicose veins and general health of the patient at the initial stage. This helps develop a correct and proper strategy  for further examinations and treatment. A correct diagnosis leads to effective treatment results.

Professional doctors should not just consider the individual patient, but the progression of the disease, the treatment program and the correct process of rehabilitation for the patient.

The most accurate tool to help the physician make the diagnosis is the Doppler ultrasound or duplex scanning.

Doppler ultrasound – helps assess the condition of the walls and vein valves. For the correct diagnosis, the ultrasound examines several sections of the vein with a focus on core subcutaneous and deep veins.

Ultrasonography allows for accurate and efficient screening to determine patency of the superficial vein and to assess blood flow rate and valve operation. This is enough to make the correct diagnosis, which allows the physician to create a treatment plan for the patient. Doppler ultrasound is highly informative and can be done multiple times without causing harm to the body. Without performing diagnostic ultrasound Doppler a physician cannot choose the best form of treatment for a patient with varicose veins.

The advantage of using an ultrasound is safety. They are non-invasive, outpatient, and take a short time to complete (about 40 minutes).

In more complicated forms of varicose vein disease a doctor may do other forms of screening after the ultrasound examination.

More details of the diagnosis of varicose vein and the correct choice of treatment can be found in the article by Dr. Gorodetsky here.

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