Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) or Venous Insufficiency is a prevalent condition that affects the veins in the legs. It occurs when the one-way valves within the veins become weakened or damaged, disrupting the efficient flow of blood back to the heart. Several factors contribute to the development of CVI, including age, family history, obesity, pregnancy, and prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Additional risk factors include a history of blood clots, leg injuries, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. If you are experiencing symptoms of venous insufficiency, it’s crucial to consult your doctor for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Timely diagnosis and treatment are essential for effective CVI management. At our London ultrasound clinic, we offer venous insufficiency ultrasound scans to assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of this condition.
Common Symptoms of CVI:
The symptoms of CVI can vary among individuals but often include:
- Swelling in the lower legs and ankles.
- Leg pain or aching.
- The presence of varicose veins.
- Changes in skin texture or color around the affected area.
- Skin ulcers or open sores, particularly in advanced cases.
Left untreated, CVI can lead to more severe complications, including deep vein thrombosis, extensive skin damage, and venous ulcers. Early detection and appropriate management are essential to mitigate these risks.
Venous insufficiency is a common condition where the veins in your legs cannot efficiently return blood to your heart. This can cause a variety of symptoms, such as swelling, pain, and skin changes. A venous insufficiency ultrasound scan is a non-invasive test that can help diagnose this condition.
The best non-invasive test to diagnose venous insufficiency is a Doppler (duplex) ultrasound scan. This test uses sound waves to create images of your veins and measure blood flow. During the scan, a vascular scientist applies gel to your skin and uses a handheld device (probe) to take images of your veins. The scan is painless and usually takes around 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
The venous insufficiency scan includes an evaluation of the blood flow in your veins, including any areas of reflux or blockages. It can also measure the diameter of your veins and assess the function of your valves. This information can help your doctor determine the severity of your condition and develop a treatment plan.
You may need to have a venous insufficiency Doppler ultrasound scan if you have symptoms such as swelling, pain, or skin changes in your legs. It can also be used to monitor the disease's progression and the treatment's effectiveness.
There is no special preparation required for a venous insufficiency ultrasound scan. You can eat and drink as normal and take any medication you have been prescribed. After the scan, you can resume your normal activities.
If you are experiencing symptoms of venous insufficiency and your ultrasound scan confirms that you have venous insufficiency, it is important to talk to your GP and ask your GP to refer you to a venous insufficiency clinic or vascular surgeon. They can recommend the best course of treatment for you, which may include lifestyle changes, compression stockings, or in more severe cases, surgery.
Venous insufficiency ultrasound scan is a non-invasive and low-risk procedure. There are no known significant risks associated with the procedure. The ultrasound technology used in the scan does not involve radiation exposure, so there is no risk of radiation exposure or side effects. Some patients may experience minor discomfort or sensitivity during the scan due to the pressure applied by the ultrasound probe, but this discomfort is typically mild and temporary. Overall, the venous insufficiency ultrasound scan is considered a safe and reliable diagnostic tool for evaluating venous insufficiency in the legs.
You will receive your results verbally or written after the scan. However, the Sonographer/Vascular scientist will examine the relevant images after your appointment and prepare a written report within 24 hours with any recommended actions. The report will be sent to you so that you can share the findings with your doctor (GP or Vascular surgeon) if required.