Diagnosis & Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Do you have varicose veins?

“I didn’t realize how severe my vein symptoms were until after having vein treatment. I thought my “ropey” veins were just cosmetic in nature and had no idea how much better I was going to feel. I was happily surprised with the increase in energy and leg function that I immediately felt. I had always believed that my symptoms were minimal and something that I could just live with, and I never really realized just how badly my legs/veins felt before seeing Dr. Cutchen.”  Read More 

How are varicose veins diagnosed?

The Role of Ultrasound in Diagnosing Vein Disease
The job of our veins is to return blood to our heart to be re-circulated. Inside our veins, there are one-way valves that permit the blood to flow up the leg and then close to prevent backward flow from gravity’s pull. A varicose vein has broken valves that allow the blood to flow back down the vein. This back pressure congests the vein and can cause it to bulge out and cause symptoms of heaviness and aching in the leg. (Learn about more symptoms of varicose veins in the section that follows.)treatment. Both were untrue…

Ultrasound technology allows us to create a vein “map” to understand which veins are functioning normally and which veins are not. From this, we can formulate your treatment plan specific to the issues in each individual leg. We perform the ultrasound with the patient in a standing position so that we can truly evaluate the blood flow through the veins against gravity. At Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, we perform this ultrasound in-office at the time of your full consultation, and we take pride in our taking the time to do it the right way. A well-performed ultrasound is critical to prescribing effective vein treatment and is an aspect that sets our vein clinic apart from others.

To learn more about how veins works and diagnosing varicose veins, view Dr. Cutchen’s educational video, The Role of Duplex Ultrasound in Diagnosing Vein Disease 


Normal leg veins work against gravity taking blood from the legs back to the heart. One-way flow valves in leg veins help prevent blood from flowing backward, or refluxing, toward the feet. When these valves malfunction and backward flow occurs, it is called venous reflux or venous insufficiency. A superficial vein that refluxes is called a varicose vein. This backward flow causes veins to bulge and become symptomatic. Reflux causes legs to:

  • Feel heavy, achy & tired
  • Burn, itch & throb
  • Become swollen, especially at the end of the day.

After years and years of reflux, the chronic high pressure in the veins may cause skin changes such as increased pigmentation, skin texture changes, and even venous ulcers. (Read more about advanced vein conditions.)

At Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, Dr. Robert Cutchen specializes in advanced outpatient technologies to treat varicose veins. Many of the vein treatments Dr. Cutchen uses are quick, easy, and don’t require much downtime or a long recovery period. They are also, often, covered by insurance. To learn more about treating varicose veins (cures for varicose veins), read more information.

If you would like to learn more about Varicose Vein treatment, please call our office at 505-848-VEIN today to schedule a consultation or fill out the form on this page and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you promptly.