The most important tools in
varicose veins are the
physical examination and medical history. Varicose
veins are typically diagnosed based on their appearance, and no other special
tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
The medical history will include questions about
any vein problems, serious leg injuries, or leg ulcers you have had in the
past, as well as any other risk factors you might have, including whether your
family has a history of varicose veins. Talk to your doctor about any symptoms
you are having (such as swelling, fatigue, or cramps in your legs) and what you
have been doing to treat your symptoms, if anything.
physical exam, the doctor will examine your legs and feet (or any other
affected areas) for varicose veins. You will likely stand during this test. Varicose veins are usually easy to see. The doctor
will also check your legs for tender areas, swelling, skin color changes,
ulcers, and other signs of skin breakdown. To study the blood flow in your
legs, the doctor may ask you to move your legs around in different
If a problem with the
deep veins or complications are suspected based on your symptoms and exam,
other tests may be done.
Duplex Doppler ultrasound is the most
commonly used noninvasive test that can help your doctor study blood flow in
your leg veins.
An ultrasound might be done if you are considering having a procedure to treat varicose veins.