In most cases, patients suspect that they have vein disease because they are experiencing symptoms. However, before a vein doctor can recommend the most appropriate treatment, he or she will use various techniques to examine the patient’s veins and learn more about the underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms. One of the methods doctors can use to visualize abnormal veins is known as “duplex ultrasound.”
What is it?
Duplex ultrasound is a pain-free technology that vein doctors can use to look at the veins beneath the surface of a patient’s skin. Using an ultrasound machine and probe, the doctor sends high frequency sound waves through the skin. These waves generate an image that appears on the machine’s screen. This image provides the doctor with valuable information about the vein’s blood flow and features.
What to Expect
Duplex ultrasound is completely non-invasive. During the procedure, you will typically be asked to lie down, depending on the location of the exam. The doctor may also ask you to assume a specific position so that he or she can access the area easily. Next, the doctor will apply some gel to your skin. This gel prevents air from disrupting the image. Finally, the doctor will press the probe gently into your skin and move it around to produce images of your veins.
Depending on the images generated during duplex ultrasound, your vein doctor may or may not diagnose you with vein disease. If vein disease is detected, the doctor may recommend one or more treatment options. Possible treatment options include:
- Sclerotherapy – This treatment involves the injection of a sclerosing solution into abnormal veins in order to force them to close.
- Transdermal laser treatment – Transdermal laser treatment uses light therapy to treat spider veins from the surface of the skin.
- Endovenous laser treatment – This procedure uses focused laser energy delivered into a catheter to treat varicose veins internally.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy – Ambulatory phlebectomy involves the complete removal of abnormal veins through small incision made in the surrounding skin.
Depending on the specifics of your condition, one of these treatment options may be better for you than the others. Using the results of your duplex ultrasound and information in your medical history, vascular surgeons can help you make the right choice.
If you think you may be suffering from spider veins or varicose veins, please contact Metro Vein Centers today to schedule an appointment.