A physical examination, mainly visual, by a qualified doctor will decide whether or not a patient has varicose veins. The patient will be asked to stand while the doctor checks for signs of swelling.

The patient may also be asked questions about the symptoms, whether any close relatives have/had varicose veins, and whether they are, or have been pregnant. The physician may also ask the patient whether they have ever had any leg injury, such as a broken bone, or any history of deep vein thrombosis.

In some cases, a doctor might refer the patient to a vascular specialist.

The following diagnostic tests are sometimes ordered:

  • Doppler test – an ultrasound scan to check the direction of blood flow in the veins. This test also checks for blood clots or obstructions in the veins.
  • Color duplex ultrasound scan – this test provides color images of the structure of veins, which helps the doctor identify any abnormalities; it can also measure speed of blood flow.