Along with obtaining a medical history expert physical examination is an important part of the consultation to assess the veins and the condition of the skin. This will determine the extent of the varices and display any signs of leg swelling, discoloration or ulcers but is not always an indicator for where the veins originate.
Duplex Ultrasound Scan
This is a non invasive investigation which is the gold standard for investigating venous disease and is the most informative technique available. With color duplex ultrasound imaging all veins and arteries can be visualized so that the direction of the blood flow can be demonstrated and measured. It will demonstrate leaky valves and blood flowing the wrong way down any varicose veins. A report is then produced to indicate all incompetent veins and where they arise from. This is similar to the scan performed during pregnancy to assess the developing baby.
Ultrasound imaging is also used to map the veins before an operation. This enables the veins to be removed through the smallest possible incisions.