What Is the Definition of Venous Reflux?

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Venous reflux is also called venous insufficiency. It occurs when the veins have trouble sending blood from your limbs back to the heart. Your veins carry blood back to the heart, and valves in the veins stop the blood from flowing backward. If your veins have difficulty sending blood back to the heart, you have venous reflux. Venous reflux is often caused by blood clots or varicose veins. When forward flow through the veins is obstructed — such as in the case of a blood clot — blood builds up below the clot, which can lead to venous insufficiency. In varicose veins, the valves are often missing or impaired and blood leaks back through the damaged valves. Symptoms of venous insufficiency include:
  • swollen legs or ankles
  • itchy legs
  • leg cramps
  • a feeling of tightness in your calves
  • skin that changes color
Your doctor will want to do a physical examination and take a complete medical history to figure out if you have venous insufficiency. They may also order some imaging tests to pinpoint the source of the problem.   Keyword: venous reflux
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