Diagnosis with Venous Duplex Ultrasound
Venous Duplex Ultrasound is the gold standard for diagnosis of vein disease. It is usually done at your initial consultation visit. The ultrasound is done in the office in the standing position by a qualified venous ultrasound technician. Duplex means two, so a duplex ultrasound can perform 2 functions. First it determines if there is healthy flow in the veins, and second it “maps” the location and size of the veins. The scan is vital in establishing an accurate diagnosis which is the only way to assure the most effective treatment of your varicose veins. Venous Duplex Ultrasound (Video 1.6M)
First, the ultrasound image provides information about the blood flow inside the vessels of the leg. Normal leg veins work against gravity taking blood from the legs back to the heart. One way flow valves in leg veins help prevent blood from flowing backwards, or refluxing, toward the feet. Sometimes the valves malfunction, and blood refluxes and pools in the legs causing veins to distend, bulge and become varicose veins. Duplex ultrasound can determine if there is reflux in your veins. It can also evaluate your legs for blockage by a clot, also called a thrombus.
Second, the ultrasound can determine the size, location and the various branches and connections are "mapped-out." This enables a record to be made showing the precise location of the leaking valves. The technicians look especially at the leg’s major superficial veins, the great saphenous vein and the small saphenous veins, which lie under the surface of the skin. These veins, when abnormal and refluxing, are usually the root of most varicose vein medical problems.