Diagnosing Venous Disease
When assessing varicose veins, or spider veins, it is important to know the root cause of the problem. Is there venous insufficiency? If so, which veins are not working well?
Venous ultrasound is the main tool that vascular surgeons use to evaluate the veins of the leg. The ultrasound works by measuring sound waves in tissue, and generating images. From these images, we can see which veins are working well, and which ones are leaking blood back into the legs, causing increased pressure. Most commonly, the culprit vein will be the greater saphenous vein, which runs under the skin from the ankle to the groin, on the inner part of the leg and thigh. The ultrasound will evaluate the greater saphenous vein, as well as the other main veins in the leg for insufficiency. Furthermore, this study can also tell us if there are blood clots in the veins, which can be potentially dangerous.
If you have varicose veins or signs of venous insufficiency, you will most likely have an ultrasound as part of your evaluation. The ultrasound should take about 30-45 minutes.
At the San Francisco Vein Center, our experienced vascular ultrasound technologists help immensely in our ability to diagnose the underlying problems causing our patients' varicose veins. Once we see which veins aren't working correctly, we are able to formulate a treatment strategy customized to each patient.