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Varicose Veins Must Be Examined Standing


Recently, I saw a patient with recurrent varicose veins. The patient had had treatment many years before on the NHS and he commented that when he was examined and when the varicose veins were marked, he was asked to lie down. He also commented that after his surgical stripping operation (carried out 10 years ago, incidentally), when the bandages came off, he immediately noticed that most of his varicose veins had NOT been removed.

This is a common description of varicose veins treatment carried out at other clinics. Such an approach leads to inadequate and incomplete assessments. Here’s why.

  1. Varicose veins are caused by superficial venous reflux – down flow of blood in the wrong direction in the veins under the pull of gravity. It therefore follows that to accurately diagnose the root cause of varicose veins, gravity must be acting on the veins when the veins are examined. We hear many stories of patients who have had inadequate treatment because they were scanned with ultrasound while lying down. Identifying the presence of reflux, where it is coming from and which veins are affected, can only be accurately assessed by duplex ultrasound when the patient is standing.
  2. Furthermore, to accurately identify the varicose veins for adjunctive procedures such as phlebectomy and foam sclerotherapy, skin marking must be performed while the patient is standing.

If you are concerned about your varicose veins, here’s how to contact us

  • calling us by telephone – 01935 873951
  • using the contact form on the website