Diagnostic Ultrasound is a non-invasive test which allows evaluation of structures below the skin 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. Note 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 reflux.