What is Vascular Duplex Ultrasonography?
Duplex ultrasonography is a diagnostic technique to detect vascular conditions. It helps to evaluate blood flow through your arteries and veins. It combines traditional ultrasound with the use of Doppler ultrasound. In traditional ultrasound, sound waves bouncing off blood vessels are processed to create images of the blood vessels, whereas, with a Doppler ultrasound, sound waves reflect from moving objects such as blood to help measure its speed and other aspects of how it flows.
Indications for Vascular Duplex Ultrasonography
Vascular duplex ultrasonography may be used to diagnose conditions such as:
- Abdominal aneurysm
- Arterial occlusion (blockage)
- Blood clot
- Carotid occlusive disease
- Renal vascular disease (blood vessels of the kidneys)
- Varicose veins
- Venous insufficiency
Preparation for Vascular Duplex Ultrasonography
A duplex ultrasound usually requires minimal preparation such as:
- You will need to fast before the abdominal ultrasonography.
- If you are taking any medicines - especially blood-thinners - you must inform your doctor as these might affect the results of the test.
Procedure for Vascular Duplex Ultrasonography
- You will be instructed to lie on a table, usually on your back. Your doctor or technician will apply a clear gel to the area to be tested. This helps conduct the sound waves for better results.
- Your doctor will use an ultrasound probe that is moved gently over the area being examined.
- You may feel some pressure from the device, but it won't hurt.
- The probe sends sound waves into your body that bounce off the blood vessels and blood, returning back to the device
- The information is relayed to a computer that produces live moving images that are viewed on a screen.
- It usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete the test.
Post Procedural Care Instructions for Vascular Duplex Ultrasonography
A vascular duplex ultrasonography is not associated with any side-effects and does not require any post-procedural care. You will immediately be able to resume your normal activities. The results of your study are often immediately available.