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Varicose Veins (cont.)

Varicose Veins Diagnosis

Making the diagnosis of varicose veins is a relatively easy task. They are easy to identify just by their characteristic appearance on physical examination.

The health care professional most likely will take a thorough medical history and examination looking not only for the extent of the patient's varicose veins, but also for potential risk factors.

  • He or she may do any of several simple tourniquet tests to identify points of reverse blood flow. The simplest test uses only a blood pressure cuff.
  • Another useful device aiding in localizing the extent of the problem is a Doppler ultrasound. This handheld device is skimmed over the surface of the leg to map out the veins and faulty valves. This device is similar to those used in pregnancy to identify the developing fetus.
  • Duplex scanning, a similar but more detailed test, can also be done to rule out the presence of clots in the deeper veins.
  • Magnetic resonance venography is another test performed when the Duplex scan test is unclear. This test can even look for blood clots in the deep veins.
  • Blood (laboratory) tests are not helpful in making a diagnosis of varicose veins.
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Varicose Veins »

The description of varicose veins as a clinical entity can be traced back as early as the fifth century BC.

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