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Diagnosis

If you have varicose veins and they don't cause you any discomfort, you may not need to visit your GP.

Varicose veins are rarely a serious condition and they don't usually require treatment.

But speak to your GP if:

Seeing your GP

Varicose veins are diagnosed by their appearance. Your GP will examine your legs while you're standing to check for signs of swelling.

You may also be asked to describe any pain you have and whether there are situations that make your varicose veins worse.

For example, some women find their menstrual cycle (period) affects their varicose veins.

Your GP will also want to know if you're at an increased risk of developing varicose veins, such as:

Further investigation

Your GP may refer you to a vascular specialist (a doctor who specialises in veins) if you have any of the following:

In most cases, a test called a duplex ultrasound scan will be carried out. This is a type of scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of the veins in your legs.

The picture shows the blood flow and helps the vascular specialist locate any damaged valves that might be causing your varicose veins.