Varicose veins are a problem for many people, both men and women. They are those networks of enlarged veins that are found most often in the lower legs. However, they can be located in other areas of the body as well. Varicose veins can be recognized by their usual bluish or purple color. You may also be familiar with spider veins, a less severe form of varicose veins. All of these vein issues may range in severity from being an annoying cosmetic issue to causing major health concerns. They can even lead to more serious circulatory conditions. If you are noticing the development of veins on your legs, we encourage you to learn more about this condition and to discover how doctors are using ultrasound for varicose veins diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
While varicose veins may frequently be accompanied by pain, discomfort or itching, it’s also possible that they may cause none of these. Some people only notice the appearance of dark purple or blue, bulging veins with no other physical symptoms at all. Those who do have sensory symptoms along with the appearance of these problematic veins may notice a heavy feeling or aching in their legs. Also experienced by many sufferers are cramping, swelling, burning or throbbing sensations.
You may notice that symptoms intensify after long periods of inactivity, either sitting or standing still. More troubling signs of varicose veins include bleeding from the vein or changes such as vein hardening, reddening of the skin, sores and ulcers that appear near the ankle. These are signs that require immediate medical attention.
Using Ultrasound for Varicose Veins
Since varicose veins are accompanied by so many visual symptoms, our doctor will first complete a physical exam to assess your symptoms. He will take a look for the tell-tale signs and may ask you to stand to check for leg swelling or protruding veins that are most prevalent in an upright position. You will also be asked to describe your symptoms and to provide an overview of your medical history.
Visual assessment is often not enough to determine the extent of a patient’s vein problems. That’s where the use of ultrasound testing comes into play. This type of technology allows medical professionals to actually see how your valves are working. This picture also provides insight into whether other potential problems exist like a blood clot.
Using ultrasound for varicose veins is not uncomfortable or invasive. A small, hand-held device will be moved across the skin of the area to be examined. This device is called a transducer, and it produces pictures of your veins on a monitor to be reviewed.
Varicose Vein Treatment
Treatment for varicose veins runs the gamut from self-care to surgical procedures, depending on the severity. Exercising, wearing non-restrictive clothing and elevating your legs may help. Also, wearing compression garments often provides relief by stimulating blood flow. Sclerotherapy closes damaged veins through the injection of a special solution. Laser surgery can also close off veins. These treatments are other ways in which doctors are using ultrasound for varicose veins.
If you are experiencing troublesome varicose veins, don’t hesitate to see our doctor at Beach Cities Vein and Laser Center. Our office is located in El Segundo, and we also serve the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Rayman to learn more about our treatment options.