Varicose Veins: Symptoms and Signs

John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital
19829 N. 27th Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
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John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital
250 E. Dunlap Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85020
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» Request a referral to a John C. Lincoln varicose vein specialist

Unsightly, rope-like veins are among the most common — and most visible — symptoms of varicose veins, the hallmark of a condition called venous reflux disease, or chronic venous insufficiency.

Swollen legs and ankles also may be present with symptoms of varicose veins, along with:

  • A constant dull, throbbing and aching sensation in the affected calf and ankle.
  • Burning or itching of the skin, because of increased pressure on the skin.
  • Skin changes: A red or purple discoloration of the skin.
  • Leg heaviness.

Evaluating Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Many patients seek treatment at John C. Lincoln after suffering from venous insufficiency symptoms for several months.

To determine whether a patient is suffering from venous insufficiency, a John C. Lincoln physician will perform a physical examination and take the patient's medical history.

In the meantime, to visually determine the presence and severity of a varicose vein, the patient will be standing, or sitting on the examination table, with the affected leg dangling over the edge. Within minutes, this simple test will accentuate the appearance of varicose veins. If this swelling is accompanied by discomfort and discoloration, the patient may be a strong candidate for radiofrequency ablation treatment and potentially varicose vein removal.

Leading up to treatment, a physician will arrange for an ultrasound examination to be performed by a John C. Lincoln medical imaging specialist who has training in venous insufficiency. In ultrasound, a small, handheld transducer is placed on the skin over the varicose vein. The transducer emits sound waves, which bounce off the vein. These waves are converted into images of the varicose vein. The test helps to determine the severity of venous insufficiency and the size of associated varicose veins.