Diagnostic procedures for varicose veins may include any, or a combination, of the following:
A type of vascular ultrasound procedure done to assess blood flow and the structure of the leg veins. The term "duplex" refers to the fact that two modes of ultrasound are used--Doppler and B-mode. The B-mode transducer (like a microphone) obtains an image of the vessel being studied. The Doppler probe within the transducer evaluates the velocity and direction of blood flow in the vessel.
Color-Flow Imaging (Triplex Ultrasound)
A procedure similar to duplex ultrasound that uses color to highlight the direction of blood flow. Vessels in which blood is flowing are colored red for flow in one direction and blue for flow in the other, with a color scale that reflects the speed of the flow.
Magnetic Resonance Venography (MRV)
A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. An MRV uses magnetic resonance technology and intravenous (IV) contrast dye to visualize the veins. Contrast dye causes the blood vessels to appear opaque on the X-ray image, allowing the doctor to visualize the blood vessels being evaluated. MRV is useful in some cases because it can help detect causes of leg pain other than vein problems.