Vein Center Accreditation

When trying to decide which vein center best suits you the choices can be overwhelming.  There are many different kinds of doctors doing the treatments, there are small stand-alone clinics to treatments within the hospital, there are offices close and there are offices far.  One could go crazy trying to compare facilities.  There is one easy way to narrow down your search of a great facility.

Accreditation is an important tool in determining the competence of a varicose vein facility.  IAC Accreditation Seal Accreditation is a series of checks and balances within the community to make sure certain standards are being met.  When applying for accreditation there can be evaluation of ultrasound images, checking appropriate certifications, maintaining continuing education, protocols set in place, and even a walk thru to make sure all things are in place.

As a patient, visiting an accredited facility should be important.  This can signify to you that the facility takes their job to the next level.  They are holding themselves to a higher standard.  The accredited maintains practices that you as a patient can have confidence that you are receiving the best treatment that is out there.  As a patient, you can rest assured you are receiving your ultrasound by technicians who have taken tests focusing on all imaging aspects of the vascular system.  You are also receiving consultations and treatments by doctors who have performed a certain number of exams each year as well maintaining current knowledge in their field.

IVC is proudly accredited by two separate accreditation bodies.  We would love for you to come and visit us to show you why we stand out above the rest.  If our office does not work for you, do not hesitate to ask and make sure the facility you choose is accredited and held to a high standard for your best quality of care.

What To Expect During Your Ultrasound

Some very common questions new patients have when they come in for their first appointment are “What are you looking for? How can you tell if I have varicose veins?”. Ultrasound is excellent for diagnosing varicose veins and is used throughout the treatment plan. Patients can expect to have an ultrasound at all of their appointments.

When the exam is started, the sonographer adjusts the bed to what’s referred as the reverse Trendelenburg position, which is with the foot of the bed much lower than the head of the bed. This simulates standing, which increases venous pressure on the legs, and the blood flow patterns can be evaluated more accurately than laying down flat on a bed, which creates 0% hydrostatic pressure and the flow patterns would be minimalized. The patient does stand for part of the ultrasound when the back of the legs are being evaluated.

The sonographer evaluates all the deep and superficial veins in the legs. The legs are checked for any superficial or deep blood clots. The starting and ending point of all the veins are evaluated, and the flow checked for reflux. Reflux in the veins is when blood is going in the wrong direction (towards the feet) when it should be flowing up towards the heart. The heart pumps the blood from the arteries to the

ultrasound image demonstrating venous reflux using color doppler
Reflux in a vein identified using color doppler.

extremities, and the veins take the blood back to the heart. The amount of blood returning to the heart varies at any moment, as this is achieved by breathing. When there is increased abdominal pressure, for instance, taking a deep breath, the diaphragm presses down on the lower venous system, decreasing flow, just for a moment, and when breath is exhaled, the pressure is released from the lower venous system, and the blood rushes back to the heart. This happens over and over.

There are valves throughout the veins, and when there is increased pressure on the veins, the valves will stop the blood from going back to the feet. When you have chronic venous insufficiency syndrome, the valves have stopped working and every time there is increased abdominal pressure, the valves won’t hold the blood where it is, and it all rushes towards the feet. This phenomenon can be visualized on ultrasound by using doppler, which can tell what direction the blood is flowing. The sonographer has the patient reproduce this through the Valsalva movement (bearing down) multiple times throughout the procedure. This is how venous disease is diagnosed.

A week or so after the procedures another ultrasound is performed, this time to check for vein closure and to make sure there are no complications or blood clots. After several months the body has absorbed the vein and it is not visible on ultrasound anymore.

Ultrasound is a very useful modality in the diagnosis of varicose veins and has revolutionized the treatment and management of venous insufficiency syndrome.