What Do Venous Reflux Exams Test?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Venous reflux exams are used to test the efficiency of the valves within the veins or to confirm a diagnosis of venous valvular insufficiency by a New Braunsfels, Texas vein specialist. There are two basic types of tests available: one that measures how long it takes blood to go to the heart and return to the ankle; and the other that maps veins using ultrasound to check blood flow. The type of exam used is something that you will discuss with a vein specialist at a clinic in your area.

The first test starts by attaching the sensor to the patient's leg, and then asking the patient to pump their foot up and down. This encourages blood flow towards the heart. The sensor will detect how long it takes the blood to go to the heart and then come back to the ankle. Most are given results a few days after the exam, at which point the patient will discuss the results with a vein specialist. They may discuss treatments or procedures that may be necessary to improve vein function.

The other test utilizes ultrasound technology to map the veins and determine the velocity and direction of the blood flow in the veins. A handheld ultrasound wand is waved over the legs after a conductive gel is applied to the legs. The sound waves sent by the wand will reflect off of the blood and other structures to produce images. This exam takes a bit longer than the first, sometimes lasting up to an hour.

Those who have been diagnosed with venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency may be encouraged to undergo one of these tests to confirm or exclude the diagnosis. What's more, those with varicose veins, discoloration of the skin, heaviness in the legs, or swelling may be advised to go through this exam as well. Individuals with venous ulcers may also undergo this procedure. Those who are interested in learning more should discuss the exam with a New Braunsfels vein specialist.

There is no recovery required following the procedure, which is completely non-invasive. No downtime is necessary, and patients can resume normal activities right away. There are no risks involved in the procedure, as it is very simple and non-invasive. Insurance may offer coverage of the exam, as it is commonly used to diagnose a condition that may cause medical symptoms.

Learn more about venous reflux exams in New Braunsfels, Texas.

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