Venous Doppler/Duplex

What is a Venous Doppler/Duplex?

Doppler ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to create images and sounds of blood flow. This test can detect blood clots in the veins. This test can be done on the legs or the arms.

A hand held probe placed against the skin emits sound waves. The sound bounces off tissue and moving blood and echo back to the probe. The echo is translated into an image that appears on a screen.

Before Your Venous Duplex

No special preparations are necessary. You may eat and go about your normal activities.

What to Expect During the Test

You may be asked to undress from the waist down and put on a hospital gown if the legs are to be imaged. If the arms are to be examined you will be required to remove upper garments and put on a hospital gown. You will have to lie on a hospital bed or exam table. To improve the quality of the pictures, a colorless gel is applied to the area being examined. This may feel cool and moist, but the gel will be wiped off at the end of the exam. The sonographer will then press a hand held transducer against your leg or arm. You will feel pressure against the leg or arm as the sonographer exams each vein. If the test is painful, let the sonographer know.

The Doppler Exam

The venous duplex exam has two parts which are done simultaneously. One part, the 2-D echo, produces images of the veins in the extremity. The second part of the test is known as the Doppler component. This produces sounds that you will hear and helps the physician evaluate the blood flow through the veins.

What are the Benefits?

A major benefit of the venous exam is that it gives valuable information about blood flow and possible blood clots in the extremities.

Is the Procedure Painful or Dangerous?

This procedure is a safe, non-invasive exam. No x-rays or dyes are used.

There are no known risks from exposure to the ultrasound waves.

How Long Does the Test Take and Who Performs the Exam?

The complete exam requires approximately 45 minutes to one hour to perform.

The procedure is performed by specially-trained sonographers. The study is then reviewed by a vascular physician and a written evaluation is forwarded to your own doctor. The sonographer can answer questions about the test. However, only a doctor can explain the test results to you.

Before leaving you may need to wait briefly if the sonographer needs to confer with your physician.

For more information, please call 516 705-1618.