Understanding Venous Reflux: The Root Cause of Abnormal Veins

Most cases of abnormal veins arise from a problem known as “venous reflux.” Because of this condition, millions of patients suffer from the symptoms of varicose veins, often seeking professional treatment for relief.

What is Venous Reflux?

Venous reflux is a condition that develops when valves within the veins fail. It is most common in the saphenous veins, which are responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. When they are functioning properly, the valves in these veins stop blood from flowing backward. When they fail, however, blood refluxes and pools, which causes the vein to swell. These diseased veins are referred to as “varicose veins.”

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are most common in the legs, and they may be blue, red or purple in color. They appear as large, swollen veins that may be twisted or gnarled. In some cases, varicose veins protrude from the legs. In other cases, they are found deep within the tissues. Many patients experience uncomfortable symptoms with this condition, including swelling of the legs, pain, cramping, throbbing, burning, weakness and tingling. If varicose veins are severe, ulceration of the skin may occur as well.

Treatment Options for Patients

Patients with varicose veins may be able to resolve their symptoms with a number of different treatments. Some of the most common treatments designed to address venous reflux include:


Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves a series of injections into the patient’s varicose veins. This procedure works by introducing a sclerosing solution into the veins in order to force the walls to swell and seal together. For some patients, this procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance.


Microphlebectomy is a procedure used to remove diseased veins from the body and eliminate all associated symptoms. During this procedure, the vascular surgeon uses small hooks to extract veins from the body through small incisions.

Laser Ablation

Laser ablation treats varicose veins by administering laser energy into the interior of the walls. The heat generated by the laser shrinks the vein’s collagen fibers and causes them to disappear.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation treats the interior of varicose veins with radiofrequency energy. This energy is introduced into the vein via a thin catheter.

Seeking Treatment

If you are interested in seeking treatment for varicose veins, contact the Bridgeport Vein Center.

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