are Varicose Veins Investigated?
Clinical Examination of Varicose Veins
clinical examination is useful in showing the
extent of the varicose veins. This does not always
show from where varicosities arise. This is especially
true 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 investigations.
Duplex ultrasound of Varicose Veins
duplex ultrasound imaging is now universally acknowledged
to be the gold standard for investigating venous
disease. It is the least invasive and most informative
technique available. Ultrasonography reliably
shows the source of the varices and venous ulcers,
as well as demonstrating thrombosis of the deep
veins, by obtaining pictures of the veins and
measuring blood flow in the vessels. In this way
it is also easy to visualise the leaky valves.
The investigation and machine used is similar
to that undertaken when scanning during pregnancy.
This investigation should always be performed
before undertaking any form of treatment whether
surgical or by injections.
Pre-operative Marking of Varicose Veins
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
Plethysmography in Varicose Veins
and strain gauge plethysmography, blood flow measuring
techniques, are also used to measure the function
of the veins in the leg. Using these tests doctors
can find out whether the overall function of all
veins in the leg is normal, or if there is a problem
with the deep veins, or obstruction in any major
of these tests are called "non-invasive",
that is none of them involves any needles or
and, in fact, none of these tests are painful!
All these treatments! Which is the one for
Philip Coleridge Smith DM FRCS
Reader in Surgery, UCL Medical School, London .
Consultant Vascular Surgeon – BVI Medical
The West London Vein Clinic: Tel 0870 609 2389