Venous reflux is a chronic circulation disease that affects roughly 40% of the population, interfering with the way your leg veins return blood to your heart.
Also called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), venous reflux disease increases your risk of several serious health issues. Prompt treatment is critical.
Ashish Pal, MD, and the team at Vein & Cardiovascular Center offer state-of-the-art venous reflux treatment options for patients in Orlando, Sebring, and Davenport, Florida.
If you’re not sure what venous reflux disease is, what symptoms it causes, or how it’s treated, this post has the answers.
Venous reflux 101
Reflux means to flow backward, and venous reflux refers to backward blood flow in your veins — typically the veins in your legs and, less commonly, your arms.
Healthy veins carry blood from your extremities back to your heart. To do that, they rely on tiny valves inside the veins. These valves open and close in succession to keep blood flowing in the right direction.
With venous reflux disease, these tiny valves become damaged and malfunction, allowing blood to back up and collect behind the valves. As the blood pools, it exerts extra pressure on the vein walls, weakening the valves and causing the walls to stretch and bulge over time.
That’s how venous reflux happens — but why does it happen? Lots of factors can play a role, including:
- High blood pressure
- Spending a lot of time on your feet
- Not being physically active
- Doing a lot of heavy lifting
- Underlying vein conditions, like deep vein thrombosis
- Injury to the legs or veins
Venous reflux is more common among women, and some people are genetically more susceptible to the condition.
Symptoms of venous reflux
Mild venous reflux may cause no symptoms at all. As the condition progresses, symptoms tend to vary in intensity and can include:
- Leg cramps
- Throbbing or aching
- Sensations of burning or itching
- Leg fatigue
- Restless legs syndrome
- Feelings of heaviness in the legs
- Swelling around the feet and ankles
- Changes in skin color and texture
- Leg wounds (deep sores called ulcers)
- Varicose veins
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a vein evaluation right away.
Treating venous reflux disease
Treatments for venous reflux disease focus on restoring normal circulation by causing the damaged vein to collapse on itself. To do that, Dr. Pal offers a variety of treatment options.
Venefit uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to gently heat the vein so it closes and withers.
VenaSeal administers a special medical adhesive that seals the vein.
Laser vein closure
In this approach, Dr. Pal uses laser energy to damage the vein lining, creating scar tissue that closes off blood flow in the vein.
This treatment uses injections of special solutions that irritate the lining of the vein, causing the vein to close up.
Once the vein is closed by any of these approaches, your body absorbs the vein tissue and blood naturally reroutes to healthy, neighboring veins.
Make vein health a priority
It’s easy to take vein health for granted when everything’s working the way it’s supposed to. But considering that your entire body depends on regular blood flow to function and stay healthy, even a minor problem can have major repercussions for your wellness.
If you have leg pain, numbness, or any symptoms of venous reflux disease, don’t put off getting care. Call the Vein & Cardiovascular Center office nearest you today or book an appointment online to learn how Dr. Pal can help.