What To Expect In A Vein Screening


A vein screening is a quick assessment that determines whether or not your symptoms could be related to a vein condition. If your symptoms point toward a vein condition, the final diagnosis will be made with a complete ultrasound and consultation with Dr. Ryan at a subsequent visit. Screenings are individualized and can happen either in the clinic or at a screening event, and typically last no longer than 15-30 minutes.

In screening, an experienced Missouri Vein Care Staff member will review your symptoms from a short questionnaire that takes about 5 minutes to fill out. They’ll talk with you about your concerns and questions about symptoms, treatments, and about vein conditions in general. There is a typical pattern of symptoms seen with vein conditions, and our staff will also ask you about this. Finally, they’ll conduct a limited ultrasound vein scan on your legs, looking for signs of vein reflux, which is the abnormal backward flow of blood in the legs.

Vein Condition Self-Assessment

The vein scan involves the staff member holding an ultrasound wand on your lower legs, so they need to be able to expose your upper calf. You’ll simply lift your pant leg and lower your sock. If you’re in our clinic you can slip on a pair of shorts we have available. The staff will hold the ultrasound wand on your calf so that they can see blood flow on the monitor. They’ll gently squeeze and release your leg, mimicking the pumping of blood through the veins.

As they release, they’re watching to see how the blood flows. If blood in your leg is not flowing properly, you’ll be able to see right away - it will be bright red on the ultrasound scan. The red color indicates that vein reflux is present, which the screening is designed to detect. 

     vein-reflux-ultrasound-healthy-blue          Ultrasound image of normal vein blood flow (blue) 


Ultrasound image of normal vein blood flow (blue) 

To be clear, a vein screen is not an official medical diagnosis but provides a snapshot of any vein reflux which may be going on. If vein reflux is detected, our staff will help you schedule a complete ultrasound of all veins in the legs and a formal consultation with Dr. Ryan. The ultrasound and consult are separate visits and are not part of the free screening.  

Keep in mind that a preliminary ultrasound screening is just that, preliminary, and is therefore limited to looking at only a few veins. It’s possible that the ultrasound screening won’t reveal signs of vein reflux simply because it does not look at all the veins. That doesn’t mean that reflux isn’t present, just that it isn’t conclusive in the screening. For that reason, if your symptoms are very suggestive of a vein condition, we recommend that you go ahead and schedule a standard, complete ultrasound exam to allow all veins to be examined.

Checklist of invisible signs of a vein condition

Often we see patients who suffer from fatigue and leg or foot symptoms but don’t know why.  When the screening suggests that vein reflux is the cause, our staff loves the “Eureka” moment when the patients see that they can get relief. For Missouri Vein Care Staff, this is the most satisfying moment in the entire process of treating vein patients. Finally, these patients have hope that they no longer have to live with their symptoms. 

And yes, the vein screen really is free!

There won’t be any billing to your insurance company unless and until you schedule the first complete ultrasound and consultation Our staff will help you coordinate insurance. Contact us if you have additional questions or would like to schedule a free screening for yourself or if you'd like to learn more, download our free eBook entitled "Leg Pain: Symptoms Causes & Remedies."


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