Vein Disease Missed by Most Routine Ultrasounds

Vein Fact:

A staggering 94% of vein disease is missed by regular ultrasounds

As vein specialists who rely on ultrasound to diagnose and treat vein disease, this stat is alarming on many levels – and doesn’t seem possible. Especially since we rely on it every day to detect vein disease.

And you’re probably thinking – “Hold on a minute. You just said you rely on ultrasound to diagnose and treat vein disease. So what’s up with that stat?”

This stat primarily represents ultrasounds performed in hospitals and by doctors, heath techs and surgeons looking for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the deep leg veins. At Hamilton Vein, we use ultrasound to focus on the superficial leg veins — which are closer to the skin’s surface — and where vein disease occurs.

What’s ironic about this stat is that the venous reflux that results from weakened and engorged vein walls and malfunctioning vein valves, should be obvious during an ultrasound, whether looking for DVT or any other vein problem.

As Hamilton Vein RVT (Registered Vascular Technologist) Sarah Wilson says, “Red is bad. I feel like a crime scene investigator.” The red Sarah refers to is the blood flowing backwards in the vein. A simple squeeze of the calf during an ultrasound shows red for backward flow and blue for blood traveling upwards towards the heart – the way it’s meant to flow.

Blood flow is measured during a vein consultation using Doppler ultrasound.
Blood flow is measured during a vein consultation using Doppler ultrasound.

If vein disease were on the radar of doctors, hospital techs and surgeons, this 94% stat would drop significantly. But, unfortunately, it is not.

That’s why it’s our mission to raise awareness and educate people and the medical community about this disease that is an underlying factor in a number of medical conditions – from restless legs and leg ulcers to various skin conditions like venous dermatitis and edema.

So we’ll end this with another staggering ultrasound fact — this one much more positive and reassuring:

100% of our vein specialists are trained and highly skilled in diagnostic ultrasound and image-guided vein treatment technologies.

That means Hamilton Vein Center doctors perform ultrasounds themselves. They don’t rely on ultrasound techs to perform the ultrasounds during treatment procedures like many vascular surgeons and other healthcare professionals do.

Vein disease is one of the most misdiagnosed medical conditions out there, affecting millions. So until we can reverse that stat to be 94% of vein disease is detected during all routine leg ultrasounds, we’ll be on our mission to educate and put vein disease on the radars of every healthcare professional – and the millions of undiagnosed vein disease sufferers walking around with no idea what is lurking beneath.

Luckily for you, vein disease is on our radar 24/7; 100% of the time. To schedule your vein consultation and screening, call 281-565-0033 (Greater Houston area), 512-551-1403 (Austin), or 210.504.4304 (San Antonio).