Swollen, tired, achy, heavy legs, especially at the end of the day, may be due to unhealthy circulation in leg veins. These veins are just underneath the skin and typically can not be seen. Usually, one way flow valves in the legs help keep blood moving against gravity from the feet back to the heart. If those valves do not function properly, blood flow in the legs may be unhealthy and blood flows backwards, called venous reflux. 1 in 5 Americans has venous reflux! Since it is a progressive condition, 1 in 3 seniors has it.
Reflux causes blood pooling and congestion in the legs causing veins to distend. This results in swollen, tired, achy, heavy legs. It can also cause leg discomfort, itching, tenderness, restless and cramping, especially with prolonged standing or at the end of the day.
Reflux is easily diagnosed in a vein clinic with a duplex ultrasound evaluation performed by a specially trained technician. The flow in the leg veins is checked and veins are mapped. If reflux is present and causing symptoms, it may be a medical problem. If so, most insurance plans cover the treatments, including Medicare. Most evaluations are also covered by insurance.
Treatments are simple, short procedures performed in the office setting. Treatments usually consist of endovenous laser ablation, sclerotherapy (injections to close veins) and / or phlebectomy (mini extraction of vein.) Go to http://www.carolinaveincenter.com to see a short on line video and to learn more about these conditions and procedures.
If venous reflux is long standing, it may be responsible for chronic venous insufficiency causing bulging varicose veins, skin changes, pigmentation changes and even skin ulcers. Don’t let your reflux progress, call 919-405-4200 for your evaluation.
Carolina Vein Center