Venous reflux, also known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), occurs when the valves in the leg veins malfunction. These one-way valves prevent blood from flowing backward as it's pumped back to the heart. But when the valves weaken or get damaged, blood can pool in the veins, leading to venous reflux.
David D. Shin, MD, RVT, RPVI, FACS, and the dedicated team of medical professionals at Houston Vein Specialists in Houston, Texas, treat venous reflux with a minimally invasive procedure called vein ablation.
You might not initially recognize the symptoms of venous reflux, as they can be subtle or mistaken for other conditions. The most common symptoms include:
Swelling of legs and ankles can range from mild to severe and may worsen throughout the day, especially after prolonged standing.
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, and often blue or purple veins visible just under the skin's surface.
Leg discomfort or cramping might be more pronounced after standing for extended periods.
Legs that itch may indicate venous reflux, particularly if the tingling or itching sensation is around one or more veins.
Over time, the skin around the affected veins can become discolored, usually taking on a brownish hue. It may look like a bruise that doesn’t go away.
While anyone can develop venous reflux, certain factors elevate your risk, including:
You’re also at an increased risk of venous reflux if you have a job or routines involving long standing or sitting periods as it can hinder proper blood flow through the veins.
There are multiple effective treatment options for venous reflux, including:
Simple measures like leg elevation, regular exercise, and wearing compression stockings can significantly relieve symptoms.
Sclerotherapy procedures involve injecting a solution directly into the vein, causing it to scar and close. Sclerotherapy is often used in combination with a vein ablation.
EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser energy to seal off the problematic vein.
Similar to EVLT, radiofrequency vein ablation employs radiofrequency waves instead of laser energy to produce the necessary heat.
Surgical interventions like vein stripping or ligation might be recommended for more severe cases.
If you're experiencing symptoms suggestive of venous reflux, or simply want to learn more about your vein health, don't hesitate to reach out. With early diagnosis and intervention, managing and mitigating venous reflux is entirely within reach. Contact us today or schedule an appointment online for more information on sclerotherapy and other vein treatments.