Restless Legs and Venous Reflux Disease


Can Venous Insufficiency Cause Resltess Legs ? RLS - Restless Leg sSyndrome

The answer is YES. Venous reflux disease, also known as venous insufficiency can cause restless legs and in some patients restless legs syndrome (RLS).

In a recent study done in Texas, a cohort of patients who had restless legs syndrome were investigated by venous Doppler and determined to have venous reflux disease. They were randomized to receive 1) endovenous ablaion of the great saphenous vein with laser or 2) no treatment with endovenous laser.

Endovenous obliteration of the great saphenous can be performed with VNUS Closure or endovenous laser therapy (EVLT, ELVeS, EVL - all synonyms).  VNUS Closure uses radiofrequency energy to ablate the vein. 

In patients with RLS and venous reflux disease of the great saphenous vein, symptoms of RLS resolved following endovenous obliteration of the great saphenous vein. The authors concluded that patietns with RLS should be investigated with a venous Doppler to determine if they have venous reflux disease before they are initiated medical therapy.

Hayes CA et al. The effect of endovenous laser ablation on restless legs syndrome. Phlebology 2008; 23:112-117.

Hratch L Karamanoukian, MD

Vein Treatment Center

Williamsville, NY and


Raffy L Karamanoukian, MD

Santa Monica Vein Center

Santa Monica, CA


Article by
Buffalo Phlebologist