Investigation of Vein Problems
A physical examination by a doctor is useful in showing the extent of the varicose veins. It is not always clear from where varicose veins come from so ultrasound imaging is needed to find the source. This is important when varicose veins have recurred after a previous operation. Even experienced vascular surgeons find it difficult to decide exactly where the problem lies without the use of special tests.
Colour duplex ultrasound imaging is now understood to be the gold standard for investigating varicose veins. It is a painless test and gives a detailed map of exactly where the veins come from and go to. Ultrasonography shows the source of the varicose veins and venous ulcers. Deep vein thrombosis can also be found using this test. Ultrasound imaging shows pictures of the veins and can measure blood flow as well. This test makes it easy to get pictures of leaky valves. This investigation uses the same type of ultrasound machine to that used when scanning during pregnancy. This investigation should always be performed before varicose veins are treated by surgery or more modern method.
Ultrasound imaging is used to mark the exact position of veins on the leg before an operation. This makes sure that all veins are removed though the smallest possible cuts. This investigation is used to find the faulty veins that will be treated by modern vein treatments including radiofrequency ablation and ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy.
These tests are called “non-invasive”, that means none involves any needles or injections and there is no pain at all!