What Are Venous Reflux Exams?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Individuals in New York, New York and in other parts of the country may hear their doctor recommend a venous reflux exam. Well, just what in the world is that? A venous reflux exam is used to check for venous reflux and to determine how well your veins are functioning. It can be used to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of venous valvular insufficiency. If you've been diagnosed as having venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency or have any of the symptoms like varicose veins, venous ulcers, heaviness and pain in the legs, or are experiencing skin discoloration, venous reflux exams may be in order.

There are two types of venous reflux exams. One is a simple, non-invasive technique involving the use of a sensor that is attached to the patient's leg. The sensor measures the time it takes for blood to be pumped to the heart and then return to the ankle. The patient will pump his or her foot up and down to promote blood flow. Results from this exam may be available a few days after the test, and will allow the New York vein specialist to evaluate the function of the valves. From here he or she may confirm or exclude the diagnosis of venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency.

The other type of venous reflux exam requires the use of ultrasound imaging using a wand. A duplex ultrasound will be conducted during the exam in most cases. Patients will lie down on a table as the technician applies a conductive gel and then passes the wand so that the reflection of sound waves creates images of the veins, allowing the specialist to see the veins and valves and then determine the flow of blood in the veins. About 40 minutes to an hour are required to perform this test when both of the legs are being examined.

The exams are completely non-invasive and there is no recovery required besides maybe wiping off the gel used in the second type of exam. Patients may return to work or resume normal daily activities right after the exam. There is no downtime required and there are no risks involved with the exams. Once the specialist receives the results from the exam, they may confirm or exclude the diagnosis of venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency, and then create a treatment plan based on the results.

The cost of venous reflux exams may vary depending on the area of the country in which the patient resides and receives the test, as well as what the provider fees may be and if insurance offers any coverage of the costs. Patients should discuss this with the New York vein specialist as well as their insurance company.

Learn more about venous reflux exams in New York, New York.

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