Diagnostic Workup for Varicose Veins
Patients with prominent varicose veins or symptoms suggestive of venous insufficiency merit evaluation by a vascular specialist.
A review of past medical and surgical conditions, current symptoms, medications, and physical examination are routinely performed. The decision about whether to perform adjunctive diagnostic testing is based upon the patients symptoms, and exam findings.
The most commonly used test to evaluate the structure and function of the veins in the legs is “duplex ultrasound”. Duplex ultrasound is a painless study that involves using a hand-held ultrasound probe to shine high-frequency sound-waves through the skin, allowing visualization of the leg veins. The duplex study is able to visualize both the “superficial veins” and the “deep veins” in the legs. If present, abnormalities of valve function and venous blood clots are readily identifiable.
On an infrequent basis additional diagnostic tests such as venogram (injection of dye into the vein supplemented by X-ray imaging), or CT-scanning are required.