Varicose veins

Your health care provider will do a physical exam, including looking at your legs while you’re standing to check for swelling. Your provider might also ask you to describe pain and aching in your legs.

To diagnose varicose veins, a health care provider might recommend a test called a venous Doppler ultrasound of the leg. A Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to look at blood flow through the valves in the veins. A leg ultrasound can help detect a blood clot.

In this test, a health care provider moves a small hand-held device (transducer), which is about the size of a bar of soap, against the skin over the body area being examined. The transducer transmits images of the veins in the legs to a monitor, which displays the results.