Varicose Vein Ultrasound Testing
Austin Vein Specialists offers daily vein ultrasound screening of the legs through its state-of-the-art imaging department. Our facility is not only a modern vein treatment center, but it is also a vascular imaging department that specializes in ultrasound of leg veins. Our diagnostic ultrasound equipment allows for a safe and comfortable method to assess your leg circulation. Since our facility focuses exclusively on circulation conditions, performing multiple leg vascular imaging studies on a daily basis, our ultrasound technicians have extensive experience. This makes our center the best qualified to evaluate your leg veins.
Our ultrasound technicians as well as our physicians are all tested and certified by the ARDMS, the organization that is the globally recognized standard for excellence in ultrasound. Our ultrasound technicians have the title of RVT (Registered Vascular Technologists). Our vein physicians have the title of RPVI (Registered Physicians in Vascular Interpretation). Therefore, the clinical members of our organization are certified nationally to perform and interpret ultrasounds by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. This ensures the quality and accuracy of the vein and vascular ultrasounds that we perform at our facility.
Why Varicose Vein Ultrasound Testing is Important
The reason it is so important to have such a quality imaging department available within a vein center is so we can properly assess all underlying leg vein diseases that exist. Most patients with varicose veins need ultrasound screening. The reason for this is that the vast majority of people with varicose veins have deeper leg vein problems in addition to what is visible at the surface. The unsightly or painful surface varicose veins are typically just a portion of a bigger underlying circulation problem. Deeper dysfunctional veins with faulty valves typically exist that in turn cause the skin veins to abnormally develop. This vein valve dysfunction is referred to as venous reflux disease.
The diseased valves within the deeper veins cause increasing pressure build-up at the surface of the skin that causes visible varicose veins to form over time. Leg vein ultrasound studies provide vital information about the underlying diseased veins that affect the treatment options and in turn the doctor’s recommendations for therapy.
Understanding Varicose Vein Disease
The best way to understand the concept of varicose vein disease of the legs is to imagine that your leg veins are a forest of trees. All of the trees in the forest start out young and healthy, as saplings. But as some of the age of the tree, they begin to acquire a disease that initially enters through the roots and then spreads into the trunk. Eventually, the disease begins to affect the branches. and those branches in turn begin to look dark and wilted.
Similarly, vein disease of the legs typically starts as a genetically acquired disease of a vein “root and trunk” that is deep within the leg (in a location that is not visible to the naked eye). These veins are referred to as saphenous veins or perforator veins. Eventually, the disease spreads into the surface branches where you can see the vein disease as varicose veins. Varicose veins are the blue bulging unsightly veins that can often be painful. The “leaves” of the tree may be smaller veins, such as reticular veins or spider veins. The advantage of ultrasound is that the sound waves can “see-through” the skin and into the deeper tissues, identifying the underlying diseased “roots and trunk” from which the surface varicose veins are emanating.
The reason it is so important to “map out” these deeper diseased leg veins is that they will need to be treated in order to fix your varicose vein condition. If only the “leaves” or “branches” of the diseased “tree” are treated, the roots and trunk will just grow new diseased branches. Just like a diseased tree, if the deeper diseased veins are not identified and treated appropriately then an individual with suffering from recurrent varicose veins. New branch varicose veins will grow from the underlying trunk vein. In addition, if the deeper veins are not treated then individuals will often continue with pain or swelling of the legs from the persistent deeper vein problem.
Due to advances in medical technology, these deeper vein problems have become much easier to address. Typically, the condition can often be cured. The deeper “trunk” veins are often successfully treated with radiofrequency energy or laser energy. This treatment is performed under ultrasound guidance through an IV and does not require any incisions. These therapies are safely done in our vein center on a daily basis with exceptional results.
If you are interested in speaking with one of our vein specialists about having a screening vein ultrasound performed to assess your vein disease, please call our vein center. We are open weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm and our phone number is (512) 339-9100.