Venous Duplex Scanning

Venous duplex scanning is a non-invasive examination that uses sound waves to detect blood flow and study the internal structure of blood vessels. Duplex scanning combines traditional ultrasound techniques with Doppler to create images and trace movement through the vessels. Venous duplex scanning may be recommended for the following:

  • Evaluate reflux (reversal) of blood in veins of lower leg
  • Diagnose reasons of chronic leg swelling
  • Scan for blood clots in lower leg veins
  • Pinpoint location of diseased vein prior to or during treatment
  • Examination of a variety of venous conditions

Results from a venous duplex scanning can be seen at the time of the examination. Images and video from the scan can also be recorded and saved for future consideration and diagnosis.

How does Venous Duplex Scanning Work?

At the beginning of the examination, a gel-like substance is placed on the skin where the test will be conducted. A transducer is then moved over the surface of the skin, which records the images and blood flow in the vessels. In some cases, the patient may be asked to perform specific breathing exercises to vary blood flow through the vessels.

The entire examination may take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of vessels to be examined. There is no discomfort, risks or side effects during or after the procedure. After the examination, patients are able to return to regular activities right away.

What to Expect after the Procedure

The results of the venous duplex scanning will be used to diagnose vein conditions and make recommendations for treatment. In some cases, follow-up examinations may be required to clarify results of the first exam.

Our certified and highly skilled staff perform venous duplex scanning at the PCI Vein Center. In its first few years of operation our vascular lab has already performed nearly 18,000 studies.  These tests may be used prior to or in combination with some vein treatments. For more information about this examination, contact the Vein Center.


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