Have you ever felt pain in your legs? Then Varicose Veins could be one of the reasons. Veins that are swollen and twisted are known as varicose veins. Varicose veins can develop near the skin’s surface, which means superficial veins. It happens when a person has to stand and walk a lot which maximizes the pressure in the lower body’s veins. Varicose veins can cause excruciating pain and uneasiness for some. Varicose veins can sometimes lead to more serious issues and should be treated.
Risk factors of varicose veins
The dark purple or blue color veins or veins that appear bulging are some of the symptoms of this condition. There are many factors that lead a person to have varicose veins. Let us now look at some of those factors:-
- Age – Age is a major cause of several health issues. The valves in the veins that assist control blood flow wear down with age. The valves eventually wear down, allowing some blood to flow back into the veins, where it gathers.
- Sex – Men are lesser than women in increasing the disease. Female hormones relax vein walls, and therefore variations in hormones before a menstrual period, during pregnancy, or during menopause could influence. Hormone therapy, such as birth control tablets, has increased the risk of varicose veins.
- Pregnancy – It is one of the most beautiful, simultaneously painful moments for each woman. The volume of blood in the body rises during pregnancy. This alteration helps the baby grow, but it can also cause the veins in the legs to expand.
- History of the family – Family members, will stand as a reason for both your good and bad. If other family members have varicose veins, you are more likely to have them as well.
- Obesity – Additional strain on veins will be put by the overweight. Yes, obesity also causes varicose veins.
- Standing or sitting for a long time – People in this modern world work mostly by sitting for a long time. Blood flow is improved by movement. It is not recommended to stand and sit for a long time.
Can varicose veins be detected through ultrasound?
Once you learn about the seriousness of the varicose veins, you should consult the doctor immediately. They will suggest you have the ultrasound test. Yes, varicose veins are detected through an ultrasound. A health care practitioner may recommend a venous Doppler ultrasound of the leg to diagnose varicose veins. A Doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic that looks at blood flow via vein valves using sound waves. Leg ultrasonography can support the finding of a blood clot. It is considered the best way to detect varicose veins. Apart from that, narrowing of an artery like in the neck area, a blocked artery, etc., can be detected through this ultrasound.
Ways to prepare for the Doppler ultrasound
When you want to get the exact result through ultrasound, you must follow some preparation tips. The healthcare provider will instruct for getting ready for the Doppler ultrasound.
- Remove all clothing and jewelry from the region that will be evaluated. Those things might act as a disturbance for ultrasound procedures.
- Stay away from cigarettes and other nicotine-containing items for up to two hours before your test. Nicotine is a foundation for blood vessels to constrict, altering your results.
- You may be required to fast, which means not eating or drinking for more than a few hours before certain Doppler tests.
Once you follow these ways properly, your health care providers will start the procedures without any obstacles.
How to detect it?
You will be asked to lie on an examination table or bed before the procedure. The procedures of Doppler ultrasound to detect the varicose veins are highlighted below:
Step1 – Your doctor will apply a water-soluble gel to a transducer, a handheld instrument that sends high-frequency sound waves into the arteries or veins being investigated.
Step2 – The individual performing the test may wrap blood pressure cuffs across various body parts to evaluate your arteries. The cuffs will be placed on your thigh, calf, ankle, or multiple locations along your arm. The blood pressure in different areas of your leg or arm can be compared using these cuffs.
Step3 – The transducer is pushed against your skin and moved around your arm or leg to make images. The transducer distributes sound waves to the blood arteries through your skin and other body tissues. Sound waves reverberate off your blood vessels, sending data to a computer to be processed and recorded. The computer will generate graphs or graphics depicting blood flow through arteries and veins.
For comparison, the transducer will be relocated to various locations. You may hear a “whooshing” sound when blood flow is detected.
How much time does it take?
Learning about the overall time taken for the ultrasound is mandatory. An ultrasound usually takes less than 30 minutes to look for blood clots. Some busy people can schedule their work accordingly. An ultrasound that examines deep and superficial veins and maps take less than 60 minutes, and the exam component that evaluates leaking valves is done while standing.
Result of the ultrasound
The result of the ultrasound will decide about the further treatment procedure. A normal result means there are no symptoms of constriction, clotting, or closure in the blood vessels, and the arteries have normal blood flow. So you don’t have to worry about anything. Certain circumstances may cause abnormal outcomes. Once the report shows something abnormal, you must consult the health care provider about further treatment options for varicose veins. Self-care, compression stockings, sclerotherapy, laser treatment, high ligation, vein stripping, and ambulatory phlebectomy are some surgeries and procedures for treating varicose veins.
Winding it up:
Several doctors and health care providers said that Doppler ultrasound is safe and effective. It helps assess lower limb varicose veins before deciding on a treatment strategy. Following a Doppler ultrasound, there are no special guidelines. Unless your doctor tells you differently, you can resume your normal activities immediately. While compared to others, ultrasound is easy to use and less expensive.