What is a venous duplex scan?

We are often asked what this scan involves by our patients. This guide has been written to help you understand what this painless test involves so that you may concentrate on taking home all the information that you need when you come to see us!

Duplex is a special type of Ultrasound scan, a procedure that uses sound waves to "see" inside your body. A venous duplex ultrasound uses sound waves to create a colour map of the circulation in your leg(s). It is able to identify whether you have abnormal blood flow (reflux) due to “leaking valves” in the venous system.
A good vein surgeon/specialist must be able to perform their own duplex scan: this is essential to be able to recognize exactly which vein trunks are abnormal and what type of corrective treatment you need to improve your symptoms and appearance.
Before Your Exam

There is no preparation needed for a duplex scan. This is usually performed as part of your initial consultation at The Vein Clinic. Many of our patients bring along a spare pair of shorts to make the scan easier.

During Your Exam

Your procedure will be performed with you lying on the examination table or standing by the side of the couch. The technologist will apply warm gel to your leg(s). A transducer, (small, microphone), will be placed over various locations on your leg(s). Your calf muscle will then be gently squeezed to simulate how blood might flow in your veins.

Sound waves will bounce off the muscle and tissue in your body and off the blood moving in your veins. This creates "echoes." The echoes are reflected back to the transducer. A television monitor shows images as the transducer converts the echoes to electronic signals.

You will hear unusual sounds as the technologist views and records the blood flowing through the veins in your leg(s).

Your consultation will take approximately 30-40 minutes; in some cases when a full deep vein scan is required (for example after a DVT) this can take longer.

After Your Scan

There are no post-examination instructions to follow. Your study will be reviewed and discussed during the appointment. We will explain what the results mean in relation to your health and procedures that will help with your concerns.