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Varicose Veins Diagnosis

Nowadays, health problems are afflicting us leading to a heightened sensitivity and concern with anything not seeming normal with our bodies. This is both good and bad as any slight changes that could lead to serious health problems can be noted easily. However, when it comes to legs, not any pain in the legs is a varicose vein. Consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis because that is necessary so you know the actual problem with your legs. A conversation with the physician will lead them to know more about your health in general, any observable symptoms and your medical history. A physical exam then follows and together with the information you’ve provided yourself starting with the checking of the color and texture of superficial veins in your legs.

Varicose Veins Diagnosis

Varicose veins are normally the swollen, enlarged veins that appear on the surface your skin. Big varicose veins lead to aches and fatigue and your skin may appear red, with rashes and sores. Varicose veins affect women more than men. Diagnosing varicose veins is rather easy because the medic simply looks at the appearance of your veins mostly on your legs. Many a time, varicose veins are visible but are sometimes hardly visible.  When they’re visible clearly, most people become self-conscious and their esteem may suffer.

The main symptoms to look out for in diagnosing varicose veins are the obvious veins showing on your skins, but again these could be caused by other problems of circulatory system. However, varicose veins may be different in that they are sometimes knotted, twisted or very dark. Other symptoms that help establish presence of varicose veins include swelling of your legs. You may also experience pain in your legs either after standing or sitting still for a long time. This pain may come in subtle ways like leading to feelings of ache, burning, throbbing, restlessness, cramping, heaviness or fatigue. Varicose veins also make your skin itch and may lead to eczema and ulcers on the lower parts of your legs. Severe varicose veins may cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on your legs that is manifested through sudden and severe leg swelling. It is a serious condition requiring emergency medical attention. However, note that not all of these symptoms correctly indicate that you’ve varicose veins but persistence or severity of these symptoms should raise your alarm.

Varicose Veins Diagnostic Tests

After the physician has taken your medical history and conducted a physical exam, they may apply a tourniquet or direct hand pressure to see how your veins fill with blood. A duplex (Doppler) ultrasound test may also be carried out to confirm a varicose veins diagnosis. This test utilizes high frequency waves without any pain to measure blood flow speed and to examine the structure of veins in your legs and whether there are any blood clots. During this test, a handheld device is placed on your body and moved slightly back and forth over the varicose veins. A screen connected to the device will show a picture equivalent of the sound waves generated by the blood flow in your arteries and veins.  A standard duplex ultrasound test takes 40 minutes for both of your legs. Results from this highly specialized test help your doctor decide whether your varicose veins are as a result of other problems with your body or they’re just on their own. With tests a dermatologist (a skin specialist), a vascular medicine specialist or surgeon may be involved to fully make sure a correct diagnosis is arrived at in order to prescribe the right treatment for the varicose veins. To prove that your varicose veins are the problem and not anything else your doctor may request an angiogram that is carried out by injecting a colored dye into your veins and observe the same using an x-ray machine. Observing blood flows in your veins is also an objective of performing an angiogram.


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