Veins health status diagnosis
There are several different ways of establishing the type of vein disease the doctors apply with the purpose of defining an adequate and efficient therapy.
Your doctor will establish your medical history to gather information about your current complaints. You will be asked to provide information about the history of diseases in your family, in order to establish possible hereditary inclination to vein diseases. Share with your doctor the information of earlier inflammation of the veins, thrombosis or leg swelling inclination. Women will be asked about pregnancies and hormone therapy. After the medical history is complete, the doctor will examine your legs in various positions. Namely, during standing, varicose veins will be filled completely, while in the lying position this is not the case. If oedema is suspected, the doctor will press the tissue of the swollen leg. If a pit appears on the pressed spot and then slowly disappears, it is probably oedema.
Ultrasound (doppler or sonography) measures the speed of blood flow through the blood vessels. It also established whether blood flow is moving in the direction of the heart or returning in the opposite direction due to weakness of the valves.
Duplex sonography is a bit more detailed ultrasound test that provides information about the status and capacity of the veins and the condition of the surrounding tissue.
Ultrasound is used for diagnostics if phlebitis or thrombosis are suspected, or during preparations for a surgery, because it provides the most detailed picture of the condition of the veins and of the venous circulation.
Phlebography is an X-ray test of the vein which was injected with contrast solution immediately before the procedure. This test provides a very detailed picture of the blood vessels condition. However, it is an invasive treatment and it has to be performed on a special X-ray device. It is therefore used in cases of particularly difficult diagnoses – thrombosis, venous aneurysm, damaged venous valves and the like.
Photoplethysmography – a non-invasive method
Photoplethysmography (link to vein measuring and back) is another diagnostic method. A specially designed lamp illuminates the skin above the ankles with infrared light. The reflection of infrared light depends on the amount of blood in the veins underneath skin surface. During this procedure, the patient raises his feet several times, which activates the muscle pump so that leg veins are emptied. It is them measured how much time it takes for the veins need to be refilled. Any time longer than 25 seconds shows that the veins are probably all right. Any time shorter than 25 seconds points at venous insufficiency – blood flows back into the veins opposite to the natural flow.