Venous Duplex Scanning
Venous Duplex Scanning is used to diagnose vascular conditions in the legs. This procedure can effectively detect blood clots in the legs that may cause dangerous conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. While many diseased leg veins are visible on the skin in the form of varicose or spider veins, some patients may experience significant venous reflux, or back flow, that can only be detected through ultrasound imaging. A Venous Duplex Scanning shows a thorough, detailed image of the veins, along with the direction of blood flow, to help accurately diagnose vascular conditions. The ultrasound lab is certified by the American College of Radiology, and has extensive experience to date performing almost 5000 studies. Dr. Stevens is a Registered Phlebology Sonographer, and his staff is certified as well.
Reasons for Using Venous Duplex Scanning
This procedure can identify narrowed or blocked arteries or veins or faulty venous valves. Venous Duplex Scanning is an essential part of successful vein treatment. Most often it is performed on patients with leg swelling, varicose or spider veins, or patients with symptoms of venous insufficiency. Symptoms of these conditions may include:
- Pain, cramping, numbness, itching, swelling
- Pain made worse by standing
- Pain improved by elevating the leg
- Discoloration or hardening of the skin on the leg
- Ulceration of the leg
The ultrasound procedure is an alternative to venography or angiography. In addition to assisting in the diagnosis of ongoing vascular conditions, Venous Duplex Scanning may also be utilized to diagnose the extent of vascular injuries and to evaluate vascular repair. The process may also be used to pinpoint a location for needle or catheter placement.
Venous Duplex Scanning Procedure
The Venous Duplex Scanning procedure is a straightforward, noninvasive one, is performed in our certified ultrasound laboratory. During the procedure, a clear gel is applied to the targeted area of the legs and a transducer is moved across the site. The transducer sends out high frequency sound waves which produce an image on a screen of the blood vessels in question, showing any blockage, clot, narrowing, occlusion or spasm of the blood vessel being viewed.
Conditions which may be diagnosed through the use of Venous Duplex Scanning include:
- Venous insufficiency
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Peripheral artery disease
- Vascular tumors
The patient experiences no pain during a Venous Duplex Scanning so there is no anesthesia or recovery required. Another advantage of this diagnostic test is that the image on the computer screen appears immediately so it can be reviewed by Dr. Stevens and the patient at the time of the procedure.
There are no risks associated with the ultrasound procedure. There is no exposure to radiation. Depending on the results of the Venous Duplex Scanning, the doctor will be able to personalize an appropriate treatment.