Varicose veins typically appear swollen and raised, and have a blue, purple, or red color. They can sometimes be painful. During the initial consultation, the vein specialist will perform a detailed diagnosis to determine the exact nature and extent of varicose vein problem. Based on the diagnosis, they will recommend the most appropriate treatment.
A fabulous and reliable vein doctor can often diagnose varicose veins just with a physical exam, but will perform an ultrasound to evaluate the full extent of the underlying problem.
Stellar, focused, and board certified vascular surgeons Dr. Pushpinder Sivia and Dr. Son Ha Yu provide varicose vein treatment to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and La Quinta.
The vein expert will physically examine the varicose veins in the legs while the patient is standing or sitting with the legs dangling. They will ask about any particular symptoms the patient has been experiencing, including any pain or discomfort. The specialist will further ask questions about the patient’s medical history and whether any other family members have a history of vascular problems.
The physical exam may include gentle probing in the problem sites on the legs to check for the signs of swelling. The patient may be asked to describe any specific situations that worsen the symptoms or pain. For instance, some women experience pain in the varicose vein areas during their menstrual cycle. The following risk factors will be assessed by the vein doctor:
- Whether the patient has a family history of varicose veins
- Whether the patient is pregnant
- Whether the patient has a healthy BMI or is overweight
- Does the patient have deep vein thrombosis or another vascular condition
- Does the patient have a history of leg injury
The vascular specialist will check for the following symptoms:
- Pain, swelling, itching, or heaviness in the varicose vein sites
- Skin discoloration in the lower legs
- Eczema or other skin conditions in the affected areas
- Hard and painful varicose veins
- An unhealed or healed ulcer below the knee
Duplex Ultrasound Diagnostic Test
In most cases, the vascular specialist will perform a test called a duplex ultrasound scan. This scan employs high frequency sound waves to produce an image of the underlying veins in the legs. It will help the specialist check the blood flow in the affected veins and to identify any blood clots. The duplex ultrasound test combines traditional and Doppler ultrasound tests.
The traditional ultrasound makes use of sound waves to create an image of the structures in the body, which is the blood vessels in this case, and anything that may be blocking the flow of blood. Doppler ultrasound employs sound waves to create images of the flow of the blood through the veins. The two types of ultrasound will together provide a more accurate picture that can help the specialist diagnose the exact varicose vein condition.
The ultrasound test is pain free, non-invasive and performed by a Registered Vascular Technologist. For more information on vein disease, call the vein specialists at Desert Vein and Vascular Institute today at 1.800.VARICOSE to schedule an appointment.