When a patient is experiencing some classic symptoms of venous insufficiency — issues such as aching and heaviness in the legs, cramping, fatigue, and leg restlessness — it’s necessary to see what’s going on with the veins.
This is the job of vein mapping. Here’s more about how we do this important diagnostic test at Southwest Vein & Leg Center.
What is Vein Mapping?
Vein mapping is just as it sounds; it creates a map of the patient’s leg veins. This is used in the diagnosis of vein disease and as a guide for treatments. In vein mapping, an ultrasound probe uses sound waves (doppler) technology to view or “map” all of the veins under the skin on the legs and possibly the arms. As the ultrasound transducer is moved up and down the legs or arms, the sound waves are recorded, and the information is converted into moving images. This mapping allows Dr. Menzies to see the size, depth, and flow of blood in these veins. This information is then used as he plans treatment for the patient’s vein disease.
Why is vein mapping needed?
When a patient has swelling or pain in his or her legs, vein mapping can identify vein disease and help determine the best treatment options. Mapping identifies both superficial and deep vessels of the legs.
Vein mapping also allows Dr. Menzies to track the speed of the blood flowing through the veins. It will identify areas where the flow is being restricted.
Vein mapping can be necessary in cases where a patient may need an arterial bypass, as the mapping will show the vein that can be used for the graft and the area that needs bypassing. Also, in cases of varicose veins, vein mapping details the problematic veins apart from what can be seen on the surface of the legs.
What are the advantages of vein mapping?
Vein mapping is a non-invasive method of identifying a patient’s vein disease. Because ultrasound energy is painless and tolerated without effect by the human body, vein mapping provides a great diagnostic tool. Images are also real-time, meaning they can show issues with blood flow and vein movement as they occur.
How to Prepare for the Vein Mapping Procedure
These diagnostic tests only take about an hour from start to finish. You’ll need to wear loose-fitting clothing and you should leave your jewelry at home. You don’t need to restrict your diet in any way, but it’s a good idea to drink a couple of glasses of water prior to your appointment. Avoid caffeine before your session.
It’s Important before your mapping session that Dr. Menzies has a good idea of what’s going on with your legs. Are they cramping? Do they feel heavy when moving them? Have you noticed discoloration? Have you had any lesions or skin ulcers that took a long time to heal?
Before you come to our St. Louis Avenue offices, go back through your symptoms so you’re ready to detail what’s going on.
What to Expect from the Vein Mapping Procedure
When you arrive for your vein mapping, you will be guided to an exam room to change into a loose pair of shorts that will be provided to you. You will stand on a raised platform for approximately 25-30 minutes while our registered vascular technologist uses the ultrasound machine to map the anatomy of your veins. The vein mapping process is identical to the vein screening but takes approximately 30 minutes as it is a more in-depth evaluation. The mapping helps determine what veins need to be treated and allows the physician to decide the best-individualized treatment plan for you.
Educational Videos on Vein Mapping
Great Saphaneous Mapping
Is vein mapping painful?
These ultrasound tests are completely painless. Ultrasound energy has been used for decades throughout the medical world, and it has no adverse effects on the human body.
Are there risks involved with vein mapping?
There are not any risks involved with vein mapping. These are completely non-invasive, painless procedures.
Is there any recovery time after vein mapping?
No. You can get right back to your normal activities.
Scheduled Your Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about vein mapping please contact us for a consultation at 817-893-2699 or fill out our contact us form. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.