Diagnosing Varicose Veins and Other Venous Disorders

understanding_varicose_veins_basicsThe diagnosis of venous disorders including varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency requires an examination and tests performed by a qualified physician who specializes in venous diseases. These physicians are called Phlebologists. Patients should inquire about the physician’s qualifications as a Phlebologist.  A Phlebologist is a specialist with the most modern tools, techniques, and knowledge of the diagnosis the etiology of venous disorders. Diagnosis usually begins with an office visit where the physician or his/her staff will gather some initial information from the patient. A consultation with the physician will follow. The physician will gather more detailed medical pertainate information from the patient. This information may include a detailed history of the patient’s medical conditions and symptoms the patient is experiencing. Next a through physical exam of the legs is performed to evaluate the extent of the venous disease.  The physician may also examine the abdominal, pelvic, and perineum area as well. Varicosities in these areas may indicate venous disorders of deep system and intra-abdominal veins or liver disease.  

After the physical exam is completed the physician will decide if any additional tests are needed to evaluate the venous system and the vein valves. The standard test for this is a duplex ultrasound. Most Phlebologists have the equipment and the expertise to perform this test in their office. They will also have the credentials to interpret the results of the exam. If not, the patient may be referred to another facility for the test. Other more invasive exams requiring x-ray called a venogram may be required for certain disorders.

At the completion of the visit the physician will explain all the treatment options available to the patient. The patient should ask questions about the cost, complications, advantages and disadvantages of all the treatments. The patient should also ask questions concerning the physician’s qualifications to perform any treatment procedures. Treatment of varicose veins and venous diseases include the conservative treatment of wearing compression stockings. Other treatments include sclerotherapy, surgery, and endovenous laser ablation procedures.

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