Vein disorders are not always visible. Some patients have only vague aching or heaviness in the legs, and some patients have no symptoms at all. Some patients have a few spider veins or small varicose veins as the only outwardly visible sign of varicose vein disease. The only way to accurately diagnose venous insufficiency is with an ultrasound examination.
At AV&V, a surgeon will perform venous mapping using the duplex ultrasound. This examination maps out the superficial venous system and identifies sources and levels of reflux along the length of the leg. This specialized ultrasound exam is different from the one performed at the hospital or Diagnostic Imaging Department which looks only at the upper GSV junction for reflux and the Common Femoral Vein for blood clots. Our Surgeons all have additional training in lower extremity sonography and considerable experience in venous mapping examinations.
The duplex ultrasound is performed with the patient in a standing position on a specially designed platform and takes 20-40 minutes to perform. You may be asked to perform a Valsalva Maneuver (Take a deep breath and push against a closed glottis - like blowing through a plugged straw) and the Surgeon or RN may apply manual compression to your calves or inner thighs. These maneuvers squeeze the blood out of the vessels and allows for specific measurements and observations of your veins to be made with the ultrasound.