If you are one of the many people who have swollen, rope-sized varicose veins on your legs, the question in the title of this article may strike you as silly, and you might be tempted to reply, “Duh! The only thing I need to do to know I have varicose veins is look in the mirror.”
Unfortunately, this answer is not universally true, because not all varicose veins are close enough to the surface of the skin to be visible. Some people can have extensive networks of varicose veins that they don’t see yet, because the swollen veins are hidden under layers of muscle tissue. To detect these hidden varicose veins, you need the help of an experienced varicose vein specialist in Honolulu like Dr. Randall S. Juleff.
What kinds of things does a vein doctor do to diagnose varicose veins?
The only way to be sure if you have (or are at high risk of developing) varicose veins and other forms of vein disease is to have a venous health screening. But don’t worry – unlike some medical tests you may have experienced, these screenings are fast, painless, and non-invasive, but in less than an hour they allow a trained Big Island vascular doctor like Dr. Juleff to determine the state of your vein health very accurately.
Your screening will probably start with a standard physical examination to determine your overall state of health, and then the doctor will ask you about any symptoms you may be experiencing, but he’ll also ask about your own health history and – because vein disease is hereditary – your family’s health history. He will also ask questions about your lifestyle such as whether you smoke, how much exercise you get, and (if you are female) whether you have been pregnant or are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. These questions are to determine how many risk factors you have in your life that increase your overall vein disease risk.
Next come the physical tests that only a trained vein doctor can perform
Physical tests will follow all of the questions, and they may start with taking your blood pressure, but the most critical tests are performed using Venous Doppler Ultrasound, an advanced form of medical visualization equipment that allows the doctor to painlessly and noninvasively look beneath the surface of the skin. This technology is so sensitive that it can show not only the structure of your veins (to determine whether there are any blockages), but also the blood flowing through the veins (to detect venous reflux, the most common cause of varicose veins).
What happens after the screening?
After all the tests, your Maui vein treatment specialist will discuss his findings with you. If he has found no evidence of vein disease currently but you have high risk factors for them, he will give you advice on diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that can help you remain disease-free. If he finds evidence of varicose veins, he will explain to you all of the treatment options, both conservative and those involving actual vein removal. Fortunately, modern vein treatments are almost as fast, easy, and painless as vein screenings, because Dr. Juleff uses only the most state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive treatment procedures.
So if you’re tired of not knowing whether you have varicose veins or some other form of vein disease, stop worrying and do something about it. Pick up a phone, call Vein Clinics of Hawaii, and set up an appointment for your own venous health screening. You’ll be glad you did.