Society for Vascular Surgery

View all recommendations from this society

Released January 29, 2015

Avoid routine venous ultrasound tests for patients with asymptomatic telangiectasia.

Routine testing could result in unnecessary saphenous vein ablation procedures. Telangiectasia treatment can be considered for cosmetic improvement unless associated with bleeding.

Telangiectasia are usually asymptomatic blemishes found on the legs but can also involve other areas such as the face and chest. They almost never cause pain and seldom bleed. They are treated primarily for cosmetic purposes by injection or laser therapy. Although occasionally associated with disorders of the larger leg veins (saphenous, perforator and deep), treating the underlying leg vein problem is seldom necessary.

Even if an incompetent saphenous vein is identified and treated by ablation or removal, the telangiectasia will still remain. Since the saphenous vein can be used as a replacement artery for blocked coronary or leg arteries, it should be preserved whenever possible.

Therefore, an ultrasound test to diagnose saphenous vein or deep venous incompetence is not required when the CEAP (a classification system based on clinical severity, etiology, anatomy and pathophysiology) is less than 2.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) formed a task force to gather initial recommendations for a list of procedures that should not be performed, performed rarely or performed only under certain circumstances. These draft recommendations were then sent to the Public and Professional Outreach Committee, which refined them before presenting them to its reporting council, the Clinical Practice Council. The Council reviewed the citations and ensured all recommendations aligned with SVS Clinical Practice Guidelines before submitting them to the Executive Committee of the SVS Board of Directors for approval. You can review the society’s conflict of interest and disclosure policy at


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