What Does a Venous Reflux Exam Do?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

9591 What Does a Venous Reflux Exam Do?
Venous reflux and venous valvular insufficiency may be troubling for individuals in Fairfax, Virginia as well as in other parts of the country. Varicose veins may be a possible symptom of these conditions, as well as skin discoloration, pain and heaviness in the legs, chronic swelling and venous ulcers. Those who are experiencing these symptoms or who have been diagnosed with venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency may be candidates for these exams. There are two types of venous reflux exams commonly performed and patients who are interested should speak with a vein specialist to go over both.

The first type of test utilizes a sensor that is attached to the patient's leg. The patient is asked to pump his or her foot up and down and sensor measures how long it takes to pump blood to the heart and return to the ankle. Results from this test may be available a few days after the procedure is performed and include the measurements from the test so that the Fairfax vein specialist may determine the function of the valves and to exclude or confirm a diagnosis of venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency.

The other type of test involves the use of ultrasound imaging. A handheld ultrasound wand is used on both legs while the patient lies on a table. A conducive gel will be applied beforehand and the technician will pass a wand over the area in question. The reflection of sound waves allows images to be created so that the physician may view the veins and valves and to determine the movement of blood. This type of exam may take about 40 minutes to an hour if both of the legs are being evaluated.

Because this is a completely non-invasive test, there is no recovery period or downtime after the exam is performed. Patients may resume their normal activities and return to work right away. There are also no risks involved with this procedure because it is non-invasive and quite simply performed. Patients may find that the exam is covered by insurance because it is often used to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of venous reflux or venous valvular insufficiency. Still, patients should discuss this with a Fairfax vein specialist as well as their insurance company to help them determine if their insurance will cover the cost of the exam. The price may vary depending on a variety of factors.

Learn more about venous reflux exams in Fairfax, Virginia.

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