If you have large, visible varicose veins on your legs, the very question in the title of this article may seem nonsensical. You might be tempted to respond, “It’s easy: all I have to do to know I have varicose veins is look in the mirror.”

Unfortunately, this answer is overly simplistic, because not all varicose veins are close enough to the surface of your skin to become visible to the naked eye. To detect them, you need the help of a Long Island vein clinic and an experienced Long Island vascular doctor such as Dr. Marc Rybstein.

What kinds of tests does a vein doctor perform to detect varicose veins?

The best way to know for sure if you have varicose veins (or any other form of vein disease) is to have a venous health screening. These checkups are fast (usually less than an hour), painless, and non-invasive, but they allow Dr. Rybstein to determine the exact state of your vein health very accurately.

The examination may start with a standard physical examination, and then the doctor will ask a number of questions to determine your risk for vein disease. This may include questions about not only your health but that of your family, because varicose veins are hereditary. If your mother or father had them, that increases your risk. The doctor will also ask questions about your lifestyle (whether you smoke, how much exercise you get per week, etc.) and if you are female, whether or not you have been pregnant or are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.

The physical tests the doctor performs may include taking your blood pressure in two locations to determine your ankle-brachial index, a measurement of how well your blood is circulating. If your overall risk of vein disease is high, the doctor may then look beneath the surface of the skin using Doppler ultrasound to locate venous valves that have become damaged or possible blood clots.

What happens after the screening?

After all the tests have been completed, the doctor will discuss his findings with you. If he has found no evidence of varicose veins or other forms of vein disease but your risk for them was high, he will give you advice on diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that can help you remain disease-free. If he finds evidence of varicose veins, he will explain all of the treatment options, both conservative and those involving actual vein removal in Long Island.

Modern varicose vein treatment in Long Island, if it is needed, is almost as fast, easy, and painless as the screening itself. Because Dr. Rybstein uses only state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive treatment procedures, if you choose to have your varicose veins removed, you can do so in the comfort of our offices, with no need to ever go to a hospital. The procedures are so painless that they often don’t require any anesthesia at all, so some patients have literally had their varicose veins removed on their lunch hour and then returned to work that same day.

So if you’re tired of not knowing or being unsure whether you have varicose veins or some other form of vein disease, stop worrying and do something about it. Pick up a telephone, call Dr. Rybstein at 516-806-5055, and schedule a screening today. You’ll feel better knowing for sure and knowing that even if you do have varicose veins, they can be treated quickly, easily, and painlessly.