Varicose Veins Treatment – Part 1
Last week we discussed why varicose veins occur. This week we will discuss how varicose veins are evaluated by a physician and how can they be treated. Before recommending any treatment for your varicose veins, your doctor should first make sure you do not have more serious problems with your deep veins. Your provider will start with a medical history.
Questions may include:
- Varicose or spider vein symptoms – including swelling, pain, itching, restless legs, leg ulcers, or skin discoloration
- Duration and timing of symptoms and what makes your symptoms better or worse
- Clotting problems or family history of clotting problems
- Previous vein treatments and whether they were successful
- Medications you are taking
- Current or previous pregnancies
Your provider will also do a physical examination. With this examination they are looking for:
- The pattern of varicose veins
- Any problems with the arterial circulation
- Any skin changes, such as varicose eczema, or ulcer disease
- Any medical problems which would preclude vein treatments
Finally you will need a Duplex Ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of your vessels. The “Duplex” portion of the examination evaluates blood flow and direction of blood flow. The Duplex Ultrasound is used for several reasons. First, a deep vein problem needs to be excluded before working on the more superficial varicose veins. Second, the duplex ultrasound is used to determine the reason for the varicose veins. We can all see the veins immediately under the skin, but there are often superficial vessels deeper and covered, feeding the varicose veins. If you do not treat the feeding vessels, the varicose veins will return. This is similar to pulling the leaves off a weed but, leaving the roots.
After the ultrasound mapping is performed and interpreted a personalized treatment plan for you can be devised. My next blog will start to cover the treatments available and why some may be more right for you. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call Lakeshore Veins at (262) 241-3999 or email us on the contact us form on our home page.