Varicose veins on your legs are difficult to live with at the best of times, especially if they cause you pain or impact your self-esteem. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of treatments and therapies available to help treat varicose veins, and having your varicose veins scanned using vascular ultrasound technology can make these treatments far more effective.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins occur when the veins in your legs no longer channel blood as effectively as they used to. As the flow of blood slows, it backs up within the leg veins, causing them to become distorted and enlarged until they are clearly visible through the skin.
Fortunately, varicose veins usually don't cause any serious problems, but they can be cosmetically unattractive, and particularly enlarged veins can cause chronic pain in the affected leg. Varicose veins can also be a symptom themselves of a more serious, underlying problem, such as heart valve disease or other potentially life-threatening cardiovascular conditions. Consequently, anybody who develops varicose veins should make an appointment with their GP as soon as possible.
How can vascular ultrasound scanning help treat varicose veins?
If your varicose veins are causing noticeable symptoms and require medical attention, you may require more tests before treatment can proceed. Doctors frequently refer their patients to vascular ultrasound scanning clinics to help improve the efficacy of treatments and detect signs of underlying illness.
During a vascular ultrasound scan, a trained technician applies a specialised microphone to the affected parts of your legs. This microphone sends inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the varicose veins in your legs, and registers the echoes as the waves bound back. Using this data, a vascular ultrasound scanner can create a detailed, 3D image of your legs, including the enlarged varicose veins. The treatment is completely non-invasive and usually takes less than 30 minutes.
As you can imagine, the detailed 3D images created by vascular ultrasound scanners can be incredibly useful for treating varicose veins. Doctors and other medical specialists can use these images to map the course of your damaged veins, check for signs of underlying problems that may be causing the varicose veins, and even search for blood clots and other obstructions that may be causing you pain or discomfort.
These images are particularly useful if you elect to have your varicose veins removed using surgery, lasers or other methods. An accurate 'map' of the affected veins in your legs gives surgeons a much clearer picture of the situation and will help to minimise the chances of complications.