Although the presence of varicose veins is usually obvious, a consultation is needed to precisely locate the source of the reflux (backward flow of blood), which may be some distance from the varicose veins themselves. The consultation with the specialist is thorough and unhurried. You will be listened to and your concerns about your veins will be carefully noted. You will have ample opportunity to ask questions and every aspect of your care will be explained to you. A typical consultation has 3 main parts.
Your Medical History
The consultation starts with a thorough investigation into the history of your symptoms, general health, any previous treatment you may have had for your vein condition and also any medication you may be taking. You will have ample opportunity to discuss what your hope treatment will achieve whether it be an improvement in the way your leg looks, the symptoms you have or whether treatment will address the risks of complications.
The Medical Examination
In addition to a general examination, you will be examined to check the state of your legs, the extent of any varicose veins, any leg swelling or skin change such as varicose eczema. Your circulation and foot pulses will be felt by the specialist.
The Duplex Ultrasound Scan
This is an essential part of the consultation. Sound waves are used to build up a picture of the deep veins, the superficial veins under the skin and the varicose veins that may be present. In addition, the direction of blood flow in the veins can be detected with the ultrasound to diagnose sites and pathways of reflux.
For more information, please visit the Duplex Ultrasound page.
Many people find a remote consultation by telephone to be a convenient method to have advice on their vein condition. A careful history followed by a review of photographs or images and then a telephone call can provide a diagnosis of the vein problem and a proposal for treatment in the majority of our patients.
After a telemedicine consultation, some patients can then attend the clinic, and undergo treatment in one visit. For those with leg spider veins, the need for a duplex scan will have been discussed and a decision can be made prior to attending the clinic. For every other leg vein problem, a scan will be required.
The advantages of an initial telephone appointment prior to an in-person meeting is that it saves time and the cost of travelling. If after a telephone consultation, a patient does not wish to take the matter further, a report will be provided. If after a telephone consultation the patient wishes to proceed with treatment, the appointment can be expedited.
Telemedicine via email and the telephone is an option that many may wish to consider, while others will prefer to be seen by the specialist in-person and “face to face” before making any important decisions. The choice is yours.