How Vascular Ultrasound Can Help With Varicose Veins

by | Dec 11, 2023

Learn how vascular ultrasound, an advanced imaging technology, enables precise diagnosis and targeted treatment planning for more effective and minimally invasive solutions of varicose veins.

Happy women at the gym doing carido

Understanding Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are very common, and are sometimes called varicosities. They are unsightly and potentially associated with serious complications. So, how can vascular ultrasound help? Varicose veins are visible under the skin as a blue web. They are most commonly found on the legs. As we age, our vein walls and the valves which prevent blood flowing the wrong direction weaken. This results in blood pooling or even flowing backwards, enlarging and distorting the veins. Varicose veins can also happen as a complication of pregnancy, and are more common in people who are overweight, inactive, smoke, or sit or stand for long periods.

In addition to being unsightly, varicose veins can cause itching or burning discomfort, swelling and aching pain in the legs, nighttime leg cramps, and/or a feeling of heaviness in the legs and feet. Varicose veins are most often suspected, however, if there are bulging, bluish veins along with the other symptoms, all of which can be caused by other conditions.

An accurate diagnosis is thus important, especially as one of the other conditions is deep vein thrombosis, which can cause a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.

Basic anatomy of the venous system of the lower extremities. Credit: Researchgate.net

Importance of Proper Circulation in Leg Health

While varicose veins can happen in any part of the body, they are most common in the legs. This can result in poor circulation in your legs and feet. Your legs and feet may swell and become painful, and some or all of your shoes may stop fitting (Important: If you have varicose veins, avoid wearing high heels as they can make them worse).

The poor circulation can cause ulcers to form on the skin near your varicose veins, particularly around the ankle. These ulcers are extremely painful and can take a long time to heal. They can also get infected. There are things you can do to reduce the chance of ulcers, such as quitting smoking and exercising as much as you can.

What is Vascular Ultrasound?

Vascular ultrasound uses sound waves to study the veins and arteries in your legs. It can detect blood clots as well as evaluating blood flow. This means it can easily detect when blood is pooling or flowing incorrectly because of a weak valve, or whether you have some other problem.

 

Benefits of Vascular Ultrasound

Diagnosing varicose veins can be tricky. Not everyone has the characteristic visible veins and many of the other symptoms are associated with other conditions. For example, a night-time leg cramp could be caused by varicose veins, a blood clot, a nerve problem, not eating enough potassium or a bad dream causing your legs to move. Vascular ultrasound can easily diagnose the cause of the symptoms and definitively show that you have varicose veins. It maps your blood flow and identifies any blockages or narrowing of blood vessels. It’s also the best way to detect early signs of peripheral artery disease or deep vein thrombosis

What to Expect During a Vascular Ultrasound of the Legs

The test is noninvasive, safe, and painless. A clear gel will be rubbed onto the skin of your legs and then an ultrasound probe run over them. The only prep is to wear loose, comfortable clothing, or we may ask you to change into a gown, especially if you are wearing trousers. Wearing a skirt can make the exam easier.

You will not experience any downtime, as there’s no anesthesia or sedation involved. If you have an area that is tender to the touch, you may experience some pain or pressure when the transducer moves over the area. If we are doing a Doppler ultrasound to map blood movement, then you may hear pulse-like sounds. 

If you have symptoms that might be varicose veins or if you are at high risk (the highest risk being older, overweight women whose mothers also had varicose veins) and want to detect the condition early, a vascular ultrasound is an easy and quick way to check the circulation in your legs. Contact Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic with our varicose veins specialist in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja, to schedule an appointment and see if vascular ultrasound is right for you.

    The Six Stages of Varicose Veins

    Explore the development of varicose veins through their six distinct stages from early symptoms to advanced complications. Learn when to take action for early detection and treatment.

    Am I at Risk of Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, or Deep Vein Thrombosis?

    The appearance of varicose and spider veins on your body is nothing of immediate concern. If there are symptoms associated with them, schedule a visit with your doctor to diagnose and treat varicose veins. Spider veins, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur on individuals with all body types, genders, and ages. The following demographics may have a higher chance of experiencing them.

    • Those who are overweight (therefore, maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure)
    • Pregnant women
    • Females
    • Individuals between the ages of 40 and 80
    • Those who are inactive/not exercising (even sitting or standing for long periods)
    • Smoker
    • Frequent flyers
    • Those who have had surgery or leg trauma

    Varicose veins specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, offers comprehensive care for varicose veins patients at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore.

    Assessment of Varicose Veins

    Clinical examination and ultrasound doppler scan are most important tools in assessment and deciding management of varicose veins. This takes about 15-20 minutes to do and is usually done in the clinic itself.

    Treatment of Varicose Veins

    There are various techniques available to treat varicose veins depending on clinical presentation. These include:

    • Conservative medical management including compression socks
    • Laser endovenous treatment (EVLT)
    • Radio-frequency endovenous ablation (RFA)
    • Clarivein endovenous treatment
    • VenaSeal endovenous closure system
    • Microwave endovenous ablation
    • Open surgery
    • Venous avulsions
    • Sclerotherapy
    • Cryolaser and cryosclerotherapy

    What are the Advantages of Minimally Invasive Treatments?

    • No major surgery
    • No or minimal visible scars
    • Quick recovery
    • Same day admission and discharge
    • Clinic based treatments

    Learn more about “Spider Veins: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment”. Although they might be a cosmetic concern, they can also lead to serious health issues. You might also be interested to find out more on our blog post, “Deep Vein Thrombosis: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment” about the difference between DVT and varicose veins.

    Consult a Vascular Specialist for Your Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

    Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and varicose veins specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all vascular interventions and looks after venous diseases like varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins. Come in for a further evaluation and contact us to arrange  your varicose veins appointment today.

     

    Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

    Varicose Veins Resources

    Explore our varicose veins and spider veins resources for patients. Gain insight into the diagnosis and treatment of varicose and spider veins conditions, their underlying causes, symptoms, and complications. Connect with your vascular health.

    Keep Varicose Veins and Spider Veins at Bay

    If your legs feel sore persistently, achy when standing long periods, or maybe you notice blue or purple veins even bulging in the area, chances are these symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins could lead to other serious venous diseases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), or Leg Swelling due to increased pressure forming larger blood clots over time. Varicose veins are fully treatable with minimally invasive procedures and treatments offering minimal downtime and quick recovery preventing further complications. Long term effects of untreated varicose veins can hinder your daily life and impact your health.

    The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore is here to diagnose and treat varicose veins smoothening patients’ experience to find relief and comfort. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist based in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja looks after a spectrum of venous diseases, peripheral vascular malformations, and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

    Other Health Conditions

    The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our varicose veins specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.