It’s not uncommon for patients to be amazed by the symptoms that can be explained by vein disease. Venous insufficiency represents the underlying condition for many patients with symptomatic spider and varicose veins.
First and foremost, not all patients with varicose veins have pain. Instead, common complaints are leg heaviness, leg swelling, restless legs. These symptoms occur daily and get worse by the end of the day as blood tends to pool in the legs from poor venous circulation. Importantly, this discomfort can be separate from where visible varicose veins are noted because it comes from below the surface. In fact, some patients are found to have venous insufficiency in the absence of visible varicose or spider veins. Not surprisingly then, eliminating spider veins and varicose veins alone provide little relief when venous insufficiency is present. Similarly, spider veins and varicose veins are likely to be recurrent without addressing any underlying problem first.
Diagnosing Varicose Veins?
The key point here is that surface spider and varicose veins are just the tip of the iceberg. A vein specialist needs to consider all your symptoms and findings on physical examination to determine the possibility of venous insufficiency. Preventing long-term changes requires more than eliminating spider veins at the skin surface. The most important tool for this diagnosis is a complete duplex venous ultrasound to evaluate the anatomy, flow and size of your leg veins. A duplex ultrasound should be performed by a certified vascular tech and interpreted by vascular imaging experts.