Venous Duplex Scanning

A venous duplex scan is a procedure using high-frequency sound waves (Doppler ultrasound) to assess blood flow in arm and leg veins. Patients with symptoms ranging from leg pain/swelling to varicose veins and swollen arms and legs will benefit from this test. The scan combines ultrasound with real-time imaging of veins. A monitor displays the images and can be recorded or printed for further evaluation. A venous duplex scan can assist in the discovery of restricted blood flow or uncover blood clots formation in your leg. Generally the test is performed as either an upper extremity exam (neck, shoulder, arms and wrists) or a lower extremity exam (legs and ankles).

How does venous duplex scanning work?

The exam takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, beginning with the patient lying on an exam table. A small amount of gel is applied to the area being tested. Next, a device called a transducer is used to move over the selected area, directing sound waves at veins to record blood flow and capture multiple views of your arteries. You’ll be asked to perform breathing exercises to alter blood flow as images are captured. And the sound you hear in the examination room, it’s your blood moving during the procedure.

What to expect post procedure

After your venous duplex scan, the conductive gel will be removed from your skin and you can resume your normal activity. Because there’s no exposure to radiation and the procedure is noninvasive, there’s no related health risk. Finally, your scan will be reviewed for any abnormality and appropriate treatment will be recommended.