Venous Duplex Ultrasound
(Venous Duplex Study; B-mode Imaging)En Español (Spanish Version)
A venous duplex ultrasound is a test using high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) that evaluates the flow of blood through the veins in the arms or legs.
Reasons for Procedure
The test may be used for the following reasons:
To investigate the cause of the following symptoms in an arm or leg:
- Increased warmth
- Bulging veins
To diagnose the following:
- A blood clot
- Deep or superficial vein thrombosis
- Venous insufficiency
Deep Vein Thrombosis
© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.
Risk Factors for Complications During the Procedure
There are no known risk factors that would predispose you to complications from this test.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
No special preparation is needed for this test. Tell your doctor what medications you are taking, especially if you are taking blood pressure or blood thinning medications. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
You will be asked to lie on a table. Gel will be placed on the skin of your arm or leg, over the veins being tested.
Anesthesia is not needed.
Description of the Procedure
A hand-held ultrasound probe (transducer) will be placed over the veins in your arms or legs. Sound waves are transmitted from the probe into your body. As the sound waves bounce off structures in body, images are produced and recorded. The technologist may apply varying degrees of pressure to the probe against your skin in order to better visualize the vein and see if it can collapse under pressure.
You can get dressed and go home. Follow your doctor’s recommendations.
How Long Will It Take?
The length of the test varies, depending on your particular situation. However, in most cases, it will take between 15 to 45 minutes.
Will It Hurt?
In general, this test is not painful. However, if you are having pain, you may feel some mild discomfort as pressure is applied to your arm or leg.
This test poses no known risks.
Average Hospital Stay
The test is usually conducted on an outpatient basis.
There is no post care associated with the ultrasound.
A radiologist will evaluate the readings. The test results will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will notify you of the results and provide you with recommendations based on the findings of the test.
Canadian Family Physicians
Mt Sinai Hospital Canada
American College of Phlebology website. Available at: http://www.phlebology.org/ . Accessed April 25, 2003.
American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/ . Accessed on April 25, 2003.
Duplex/doppler ultrasound exam of extremity, vascular ultrasound. Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia website. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ . Accessed May 1, 2003.
Emedicine website. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com . Accessed April 24, 2003.
Microsuregon.org website. Available at http://www.microsurgeon.org/duplex_ultrasound.htm . Accessed April 25, 2003.
Last reviewed November 2007 by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2011 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.