Diagnostic Ultrasound is a non-invasive test which allows evaluation of structures below the skin's surface. It is the test of choice for evaluating vein problems. The ultrasound is performed in our office by a Registered Vascular Ultrasound Technician (RVT). Warmed ultrasound gel is applied to the leg, then the ultrasound probe is moved up and down to examine the deep and superficial leg veins. Images are taken first to map out the anatomy and rule out blood clots in the veins. Notes will be made of what deeper veins the surface varicose veins connect to in order to plan the best treatment approach. These images are created by sound waves and no radiation is involved in the exam.
Once the anatomy has been evaluated, the function of the veins is checked. This involves squeezing the legs to force the blood forward through the veins and seeing if the valves close properly. When the valves are working, the blood simply stops after the squeeze is released. When the valves are incompetent, the blood flows back down toward the feet and refills the veins. This is called venous reflux.
Vein Disease Diagnosis
Vein disorders are not always visible; therefore, modern vein disease diagnosis requires diagnostic techniques and tools to determine the cause and severity of the problem. Depending on the results of your screening examination, we may recommend additional tests such as diagnostic ultrasound to identify where and how badly your veins are damaged. The ultrasound examination is designed to evaluate the blood flow through the veins in your legs, localizing the problem areas.
What Are the Symptoms of Vein Disease?
Vein disease may present as a number of different minor symptoms. It is important to pay close attention to not only the appearance of your legs but also the sensations you feel on a regular basis. Symptoms of vein disease include skin discoloration, visible spider veins or varicose veins, itching, aching, burning or stinging, leg stiffness or swelling, swollen ankles (one or both), leathery skin appearance, visible ulcers or sores.
When Should I See a Doctor About My Veins?
There are several indicators that it's time to see a doctor for vein treatment. These include:
- You see visible discolored or swollen veins.
- Leg pain is interfering with your daily life.
- You have a rash, discoloration, or itchy, dry skin near your ankle.
- You notice swelling in one leg that is worse in the afternoon and gone or very mild in the morning after a night's sleep.
- Your legs feel weak or achy after a long day or after standing for some time.
- You have a sore on a leg that will not heal.
- You have a tender lump in a leg. Though it may be caused by many factors, a tender lump could indicate a blood clot has formed.
What Are the Different Types of Vein Diseases?
There are several venous disorders that can develop for a variety of reasons. Some of the common vein conditions that we treat include:
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
How Serious is Vein Disease?
If you see signs of vein disease, such as visible, swollen veins in your legs, it is advantageous to talk to a vein specialist sooner rather than later. Studies indicate that the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis increases significantly for people with varicose veins. This is because the blood that pools in the vein or veins can eventually become clumped together in the form of a blood clot. The blood clot, DVT, may break free and travel to the lungs or heart, causing a medical emergency.
While you should not walk around in fear every day you live with varicose veins, it is necessary to understand the potential compilations that can occur when you do not receive proper treatment for diseased veins. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for vein treatment with an experienced specialist.
What Are My Options for Treatment?
Your treatment options at Fort Worth Vein Center include the following:
- Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
- Endovenous Laser Ablation
- Radiofrequency Ablation
Dr. Barry Oswalt is an experienced vein specialist. He can help you explore your vein treatment options and provide you with the information you need to feel confident in your choice of treatment.
Is There a Cure for Vein Disease?
Once a vein has become distended with stagnant blood, it cannot be repaired. The only way to eliminate the symptoms of venous insufficiency is to close the impaired vein. After you have obtained proper vein treatment, you may engage in certain habits to reduce your chances of developing more spider veins and varicose veins. For example, Dr. Oswalt may suggest that you wear compression stockings when working or exercising. You might lie on your back on the floor or bed with your legs lifted up against the wall before going to sleep at night. There are several ways that you can improve your vein health via daily habits.
"Great experience today! No wait time to be seen and spider vein treatment went smoothly. Layne made sure I was 100% satisfied before ending my treatment. I’m glad to know I have a new vein care facility!" - Elizabeth H.
"Dr Oswalt is very caring and knowledgeable! His staff all care for, and respect me. I have had wonderful results with all my treatments from them. I love going to them. Thank you!!" - Beverly H.
We have many years of experience and are able to identify the cause of vein incompetence in all of our patients. Our providers perform the physical examinations and then correlate symptoms, physical examination findings, and the ultrasound analysis to make the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. During your initial consultation, we will review your history, symptoms, and exam to determine the next steps for your evaluation. Call us today at (682) 444-7965