Follow Up Ultrasounds for Varicose Vein Treatment
When you are first established as a patient you will have an initial thorough ultrasound of one or both legs. This first ultrasound is referred to as “vein mapping” where every vein in the leg is evaluated. After each procedure you will have a follow up ultrasound done. These ultrasounds are typically shorter than the initial exam; there are specific veins we are checking again. There are three main reasons why we do these.
The first reason is to make sure that the procedure was successful and the vein that we treated is closed down. We can see the treated vein and that there is no blood flowing through it. The second reason is to make sure there are no deep blood clots. Even though blood clots are rare, it is a risk factor any time a procedure is done. The third reason we do a follow up ultrasound after each procedure is because around 25% of the time after treating one vein, other veins can become competent. The reason is that sometimes when larger veins are refluxing it makes other veins reflux that maybe aren’t incompetent veins. The pressure from the blood pooling in the legs can put extra pressure in veins and make them reflux. When you treat a larger vein that is causing the symptoms, the other veins don’t have to work so hard to take blood back to the heart.
We only want to treat veins that aren’t working correctly and avoid any unnecessary procedures. What this means for you as the patient is you might not need to have as many treatments as planned in the initial consultation. That’s good news!