What to Expect From Duplex Ultrasound

In some cases of varicose vein treatment in Weston, a patient’s vein doctor might suggest that they undergo duplex ultrasound. This is a procedure meant to specifically diagnose a vein issue before engaging in vein treatment. Patients tend to find learning about the test helpful, so here are a few things to expect from duplex ultrasound.


What It Is


Duplex ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure with no pain involved. It creates a picture of an organ using sound waves. A vascular surgeon will order an ultrasound in order to form a picture of the veins as well as the blood flowing within them. The vascular ultrasound will be useful in evaluating the patient’s symptoms, such as leg pain, swelling, varicose veins, suspected blood clots in the lungs or legs, and shortness of breath. The name of the procedure refers to the fact that the duplex ultrasound uses two main elements in its application: color images that are meant to visualize blood flow inside the veins, and a grayscale image of the veins.


What to Expect Before the Test


Thankfully, there are no real prerequisites for a patient to attend to prior to having a duplex ultrasound done. Patients should simply be wearing comfortable clothing and, for the sake of convenience, should leave any jewelry at home.


What to Expect During the Test


A patient will typically be asked to wear a medical gown prior to the duplex ultrasound. The patient will then lie down on his or her back on an examination table (which is usually quite comfortable), with their arms lying loosely at their sides. The technician will likely ask the patient to alter their bodily positions several times throughout the test, holding still as the ultrasounds are taken. This shifting of position is sometimes necessary in order for the technician to capture a full visual portrayal of the affected areas. The technician applies a warm gel onto the legs and will rub a handheld transducer around the area in question. The tight bond between the skin and transducer created by the gel will allow the ultrasound waves to travel freely from the transducer to the veins. Patients should not be alarmed by any “swirling” noises that they hear during the test. This is simply the sound of blood travelling through the veins, and is no real cause of concern. The technician might place a blood pressure cuff on the patient’s legs and arms in order to measure the patient’s ankle-brachial index. This is a fast and non-invasive way to verify if the patient has peripheral artery disease. All told, the test takes approximately half an hour.


What to Expect After the Test


There are no special instructions to keep in mind following the procedure, and there are no side effects to look out for. The vein doctor will call the patient once the results of the ultrasound are in, and the treatment will follow accordingly.

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