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When is it appropriate to get a venous reflux test?

This question was asked in Sacramento, California and has 10 answer(s) as of 06/20/2013.
I have had heaviness and a fair amount of aching in my lower legs since my last pregnancy which was about 1 year ago. I don't have any visible varicose or spider veins though. Should I get a venous reflux test to see if I have vein disease or could this problem be caused by something else?


Doctors Answers (10)

You definitely should see a qualified physician regarding venous reflux testing. Please understand that many of the ultrasound studies done outside of vein centers are poorly performed and do not properly evaluate reflux. Too many look only for clots in the legs and miss the diagnosis because they do not take the time to perform a proper reflux study.

Heaviness and aching in the legs may be due to venous reflux, lower back problems, musculature, connective tissue or yet other causes. A physical exam by your physician would be a good first step and if no specific cause is found then a venous ultrasound may be helpful to examine for venous reflux.

Although most patients with leg vein symptoms have visible varicosities, a reflux with Doppler test would help rule out a vein problem.

Now is the time to have a complete venous evaluation. This should include a duplex ultrasound. Please call for an appointment if we can help.

There are several reasons why people have leg pains. If your legs ache and swell and feel heavy and tired when you stand on them for long periods then you may benefit from a venous reflux ultrasound.

It is appropriate to get a venous reflux test any time you have signs or symptoms consistent with venous reflux. The symptoms may include heaviness, swelling, cramping, aching, or tiredness in the leg. Other reasons would be varicose or spider veins or skin changes which may be caused by venous reflux.

The sooner you get evaluated and treated, the sooner you will get rid of your symptoms. Venous reflux is a progressive condition, and if left untreated it will get worse with time.

Your symptoms could be related to venous insufficiency and you can only determine this with ultrasound examination. Pregnancy, menstrual cycles, breast feeding all have an impact on the veins due to hormones. There are not always varicose veins or spider veins visible in people with venous insufficiency. Increasing exercise, hydration, weight loss, sitting for a bit during the day with legs elevated all help for tired achy legs. Compression hose can also help and there are styles which are nicer, lighter looking and more comfortable (cooler too).

Yes, a venous ultrasound exam will be helpful to make this determination.

A person does not have to have visible varicose veins to be diagnosed with venous reflux disease. The symptoms of heaviness and aching are associated with venous reflux. I recommend evaluation of your legs with duplex ultrasound now by a vein specialist.

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