Your physician may recommend a duplex ultrasound to assist with diagnoses of conditions that affect the blood vessels and examination of blood vessels for other purposes.
Modern technology for duplex (two-part) vascular (performed on blood vessels) ultrasound combines "conventional" and Doppler ultrasound technologies. Sound waves (that are inaudible to the human ear) bounced off of blood vessels deliver a two-dimensional moving image to the computer (in black and white) of the structure of the blood vessels. The computer combines this image with colour Doppler images of red blood cells. The Doppler images reveal the speed of the blood flow as well as obstructions in the flow. The two images combined shows the physician the obstruction and the location of the obstruction at the same time. We use duplex ultrasound to diagnose:
- arterial disease of lower and upper extremities
- deep-vein thrombosis
- carotid occlusive disease
- varicose veins
- abdominal aneurysm
- aneurysm in extremities
- aortoiliac occlusive disease.
Our team has been performing vascular ultrasound for 10 years. All of our technicians are trained and supervised by Dr. Sanjoy Kundu, who is known worldwide for his training protocols and lectures on the techniques and most recent advancements in the treatment of vascular conditions (for example, Endovenous Laser Ablation for varicose veins and the latest treatment techniques for spider veins). This partial list describes some of the vascular ultrasound imaging tests that we commonly perform:
- ultrasound of the carotid arteries
- arterial ultrasound of the upper and lower peripheries with ABIs (ankle-brachial pressure index)
- venal ultrasound (ultrasound image of the insides of veins) of the upper and lower peripheries
- ultrasound of the thoracic region for thoracic outlet syndrome
- kidney ultrasound for renal artery stenosis
- ultrasound of the viscera for visceral artery stenosis
- venous duplex ultrasound of the lower and upper extremities for deep vein thrombosis
- and vertebral arteries
The test usually lasts about 30 minutes.
How do I prepare?
Unless instructed by your physician, for most ultrasound tests, no preparation is required. Your physician may ask you to fast overnight (typically prior to ultrasound testing in the abdominal region, because gas in the bowels can prevent the ultrasound waves from passing).
What will I do during the test?
You will lie on the examination table with your head slightly elevated, and lying still (even a slight movement can alter the image). We will spread a special gel over the area to be examined. The technician will press the ultrasound wand against your skin and move it over the area the doctor would like to see. You may hear a whooshing sound that the machine makes to represent the blood moving through your body. The computer that is linked to the ultrasound equipment generates the images requested by your physician.
What must I do after a duplex ultrasound?
You may resume all of your normal activities immediately after your ultrasound test.
What about complications from the ultrasound test?
The instance of any type of complication as a result of an ultrasound test is extremely rare.