Preparing for your appointment

There are no special preparations you'll need to make before your appointment. Your doctor will need to look at your bare legs and feet to diagnose varicose veins and figure out what treatment might be best for your condition.

Your primary care doctor may recommend that you see a doctor who specializes in vein conditions (phlebologist), a vascular surgeon or a doctor who treats skin conditions (dermatologist or dermatology surgeon). In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to prepare for your appointment and begin your self-care.

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to varicose veins.
  • Write down key personal information, including a family history of varicose veins or spider veins.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions may help you make the most of your time together. Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my varicose veins?
  • What kinds of tests will I need?
  • How are varicose veins treated? What treatment do you recommend for me?
  • Will my insurance pay for varicose vein treatment?
  • How can I best manage varicose veins along with other health conditions I have?
  • Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first notice the varicose veins?
  • Do you have any pain? If so, how severe is your pain?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • Does anything appear to worsen your symptoms?

What you can do in the meantime

Even before your appointment, you can begin self-care. Try not to stand or sit in one position for a long time, elevate your legs when you're seated, and avoid uncomfortable footwear and tight socks or hosiery.

Jan. 22, 2016
References
  1. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Blood vessel & lymphatic disorders. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2016. 56th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2016. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Nov. 7, 2015.
  2. Varicose veins. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vv. Accessed Nov. 7, 2015.
  3. Varicose veins. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/peripheral-venous-disorders/varicose-veins. Accessed Nov. 18, 2015.
  4. Alguire PC, et al. Clinical manifestations of lower extremity chronic venous disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 7, 2015.
  5. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Treatment for varicose and telangiectatic leg veins. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Nov. 7, 2015.
  6. Butcher's broom. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2015.
  7. Grape. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2015.
  8. Horse chestnut. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2015.
  9. Sweet clover. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 17, 2015.
  10. Riggin EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 20, 2015.
  11. Gloviczki P (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 5, 2015.
  12. Gloviczki P, et al. The care of patients with varicose veins and associated chronic venous diseases: Clinical practice guidelines of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2011;53:2S.