Venous reflux (or venous hypertension) is due to increased pressure in the veins from valvular dysfunction in the legs and feet which can lead to varicose veins, swollen legs, skin breakdown, infection or wounds. In many cases, venous reflux is the result of dilation of the veins in the legs.
Veins have small valves that open to allow blood to move toward the heart and close to keep the blood from flowing backward. When the vein increases in size, the valve is stretched and cannot close. This allows the pressure in the vein to increase and further stretch the vein resulting in venous reflux.
As a result, blood pools in the legs and has trouble returning to the heart. This can lead to significant health problems and may disrupt a person’s ability to perform jobs where standing for long periods of time is required.
If you suspect you may have venous reflux, you should visit one of our providers at the New Mexico Heart Institute. If venous hypertension is a concern, you will undergo a venous reflux study which is a comprehensive ultrasound test of the functional venous blood flow in your legs.
This is a non-invasive study and takes about 60-90 minutes to perform. If this imaging test confirms you have venous reflux, you may be referred to our vascular surgery team to discuss treatment options.