Ultrasound is an important part of our process at Medicus Vein Care. It’s a critical part of the diagnostic process, ensuring you get the right treatment recommendations for your needs. It’s also integral to Medicus’s minimally invasive treatment options, which rely on accurate imaging to guide the procedure.
Read on to learn more about how Medicus vein specialists use ultrasound and why it’s so important.
How Ultrasound Works
Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to create images of the body. A small handheld device called a transducer sends painless sound waves into the affected area.
Sound waves pass through or bounce back depending on what they encounter. As they move through the body, some of the energy gets absorbed, so when they do bounce back to the transducer, their structure is different. The nature of those returned sound waves tells the story of their journey — whether they encountered blood, vessel walls, clots, and so on.
The transducer collects the sound waves that bounce back and sends that data to a computer. The computer processes the information and creates a detailed three-dimensional image of interior structures.
Because ultrasound can capture movement as well as structure, it shows the movement of blood through vessels. This tells the vein specialist more about your varicose veins and what kind of treatment you need.
The Diagnostic Ultrasound
At Medicus Vein Care, the diagnostic ultrasound is the first and most important step in the treatment process. Your vein specialist will take an ultrasound of the affected area to confirm your diagnosis and determine a treatment method.
There are several varicose vein treatments available, but not all are right for every patient. The location, size, and severity of your affected veins will determine which modality will deliver the best results.
Ultrasound imaging lets the vein specialist see your varicose veins in detail, including the level of damage and quality of blood flow. This helps your vein specialist choose the right treatment from the start.
Ultrasound in Varicose Vein Treatment
Ultrasound technology is a part of nearly every varicose vein therapy. It lets your vein specialist view the entirety of veins they can’t see externally, in real-time and in detail. This makes the treatment more precise and accurate.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) gently heats the vein from the inside, causing it to collapse and close. EVLA delivers the required energy through a thin fiber-optic probe, which the vein specialist introduces with the help of ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasound technology lets your vein specialist see the exact location of the fiber at all times. This lets them place the wire tip in the optimal position to deliver the right amount of laser energy, so you get the best results possible.
VenaSeal works much like EVLA but uses a specialized adhesive instead of laser energy to close the vein. The delivery process is the same — ultrasound imaging guides the placement of a thin fiber for precise treatment.
Varithena is a form of sclerotherapy, a modality typically used for spider vein treatment. Your vein specialist may choose it to treat your varicose veins if EVLA or VenaSeal wouldn’t be a good fit.
When using sclerotherapy for varicose vein treatment, a vein specialist will use a foam version of a chemical called a sclerosant. The foam sclerosant clings to the vein walls and encourages the veins to close.
Again, ultrasound plays an important role in placement. It guides the medication to the affected vein so you get the full benefit of the dose.
The Value of Ultrasound Expertise
In all three situations, ultrasound skill is critical to an effective procedure. The person performing the ultrasound needs to fully understand how to use the equipment and interpret the image, so the medication or laser energy goes to the right place.
Why Should Vein Specialists Perform Their Own Ultrasounds?
Medicus Vein Care specialists always conduct their own ultrasounds. We choose not to rely on ultrasound technologists because as skilled as they are in their role, they lack the clinical expertise of a vein specialist.
What Are Ultrasound Technologists?
An ultrasound technologist, also called an ultrasound technician, has an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. They also complete specialized training in the use of ultrasound equipment.
Most ultrasound technicians specialize in taking images of a particular body part. One possible specialization is vascular/cardiac imaging, which focuses on the blood vessels.
A technician with this specialization knows how to image varicose veins, but they don’t have the qualifications to diagnose or treat.
Why Are Vein Specialists Different?
The vein specialists at Medicus Vein Care are board-certified. They work under the direction of founder and medical director Steven Tidwell, MD, who has treated varicose and spider vein conditions for over 25 years.
Each vein specialist on staff has the background to independently diagnose and treat varicose veins using ultrasound-assisted technology.
The difference goes beyond the number of team members involved. A vein specialist with ultrasound skills can use the technology at a higher level, noticing abnormalities and subtleties that a technician would lack the background to see.
Also, a vein specialist is qualified to perform ultrasound-guided procedures without assistance. This reduces error risk and leads to better outcomes.
It’s important for patients to seek out vein specialists who draw on their own expertise to accurately determine the underlying cause of symptoms, find the affected veins, and treat them skillfully.
The Treatment Experience at Medicus Vein Care
Medicus Vein Care specialists have specific training in ultrasound imaging and are highly skilled in performing vein treatment procedures. They rely on these skills to accurately diagnose and effectively treat patients with mild to severe varicose veins.
Instead of relying on ultrasound technicians, these vein specialists perform their own ultrasound procedures for each visit. This includes diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.
Follow-up visits, completed two weeks after treatment, use ultrasound imaging to check for successful vein closure. You’ll see the same specialist for follow-up as for diagnosis and treatment. This lets Medicus provide better continuity of care and ensures the same person performs all of your ultrasounds.
For more information about the treatment process at Medicus Vein Care or to schedule an appointment, call us or book online today.