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What is the purpose of a venous reflux test?

My legs feel constantly feel heavy and swollen, and I have some varicose veins on them. I went to my doctor he told me I need to get a venous reflux test. What is the purpose of getting a venous reflux test? How does the test work?


Doctors Answers (5)

A venous reflux test is an ultrasound examination to see if the valves in the larger veins in the legs have failed. This is typically an inherited condition and can cause symptoms such as yours. It is not invasive or uncomfortable, and patients can know immediately if they have this condition. If the valves have failed it is called chronic venous insufficiency, and treated by a minimally invasive laser procedure in the office and mostly covered by insurance.

Testing for venous reflux is an evaluation of the functioning of the veins typically in the legs. This is done by either duplex or doppler ultrasound exam and can determine if the saphenous veins are functioning formally or if venous reflux is present. With significant venous reflux, the failure of valves located in the large veins allows venous blood to flow backwards away from the heart due to the effects of gravity, and tends to accumulate in the legs causing increased venous pressure and soreness. If venous reflux is identified as the cause of your leg symptoms, then there are simple, safe and effective treatments available to treat the problem.

This is a very easy noninvasive ultrasound. It looks at the blood flow in the veins. Normally in the legs the veins carry the blood back to the heart. They have one way valves to keep the blood going up. Sometimes these valves do not work correctly and instead of all of the blood going up towards the heart, some comes back down like a leaky faucet towards the feet. That is called venous insufficiency and causes your legs to swell, and feel heavy, achy, and tired. It will cause your ankles to discolor and the veins to bulge out. If you have the symptoms you are having I would have the ultrasound and see if any of the veins are causing your problems. As well, the ultrasound will check the deep veins and make sure there are no deep blood clots or insufficiency in the deep veins.

It is an ultrasound imaging study to see if blood runs retrograde (backwards) through the vein, indicating venous insufficiency.

The purpose of this test is to determine if the valves in your veins are working correctly. Venous reflux (backwards blood flow in veins) can be the cause of your leg heaviness and swelling. This test is done with ultrasound and compression techniques that are used to augment blood flow to identify reflux. It is noninvasive.

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