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Venous duplex is the use of ultrasound — high frequency sound waves — to evaluate blood flow in the leg veins. It generates a two-dimensional, black and white picture that shows whether there are any blockages, such as blood clots, in these veins.

Why is it performed?

Venous duplex is performed to detect obstructions in the leg veins. This test may be ordered as a result of symptoms, such as pain and swelling in one leg, or for other reasons.

What is experienced?

The sonographer applies a cool, colorless gel to the inside of the leg and to the tip of the sonography wand (transducer). The gel enables the wand to make good contact with the patient’s skin and to slide around easily. The wand is gently rubbed across the thigh to detect blood flow. The test is totally non-invasive.

The sonographer starts moves the wand from the groin to the calf to see if the veins change shape under pressure. Images from the sound waves will appear on a video screen that the sonographer views during the process. The process is repeated on the other leg. Total time is between 15 and 30 minutes.

Post-Procedure care

None. Patients may leave immediately after the test.

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