Are you getting your varicose veins treated? You’ll need an ultrasound first. Learn why.
Congratulations, you finally decided to treat your painful, swollen varicose veins! Your next step is to get a definitive diagnosis. For that, you’ll need to undergo an ultrasound.
Ultrasound technology has been used to identify problematic veins for 20 years and is now the go-to tool to diagnose varicose veins. Based on the ultrasound results, your vein specialist can map out a customized therapy plan to relieve you of the discomfort of bulging, twisted veins on your legs and feet. Let’s look at why ultrasound is an integral part of varicose vein treatment.
What is an ultrasound?
Your doctor will perform a non-invasive, painless duplex ultrasound scan to diagnose varicose veins properly. Other than drinking lots of water beforehand, you won’t need to prepare for this ultrasound.
Before the exam, your doctor will apply a gel to the lower limb area. Then, a handheld probe that sends sound waves will provide a picture on a computer screen to visualize how blood flows through the veins. This image will show whether the blood flows up toward the heart as it should or stays in the lower leg and pools. If blood collects in the lower leg, the doctor may conclude that the vein contains weak valves that do not pump blood adequately to the heart. As the blood collects in the vein, the vein swells and becomes painful, causing a varicose vein.
There is no recovery time or restrictions after the ultrasound. You’re free to resume your normal activities immediately.
The benefits of an ultrasound
Successful treatment for varicose veins begins with accurate ultrasound results. Beyond that, ultrasound offers several benefits for you and your doctor, including:
Visibility into “invisible” varicose veins. Not all varicose veins are apparent to the naked eye. Some varicose veins may be hidden deeper in the leg. But ultrasound can detect those veins. An ultrasound may also detect other venous abnormalities, such as a blood clot in the leg.
Precise treatment. With a detailed roadmap of the troublesome veins, your vein specialist can better understand which veins to treat. In ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, the ultrasound images steer the doctor to the exact varicose vein. The doctor can then inject a sclerosant solution, irritating the vein walls and collapsing the vein. Blood reroutes to healthy veins, and the varicose vein fades. During thermal ablation, the vein specialist uses ultrasound pictures to locate catheter placement. The catheter then emits heat from either a laser or radiofrequency waves to destroy the vein.
Most insurance carriers cover it. You should check with your insurance, but most insurance plans should cover the cost of varicose vein treatment. Insurers require an ultrasound examination before approving any surgical procedure.
After-care therapy. Even after treatment, your doctor will perform an ultrasound to review how you are healing and if you need further treatment.
Let us check your veins
The physicians at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) are experts in performing and interpreting ultrasound images to determine the proper treatment for you. Many of our physicians are board-certified in vascular interpretation, providing the best possible care in treating your varicose veins. Contact us today for a consultation and an ultrasound.