An ultrasound investigation is a form of imaging that uses sound waves to formulate images. It is the same investigation that is used to monitor a baby in pregnancy. It carries no risk to the patient and is not painful.
An image is created of the blood vessels and valves within the vein, plaque in arteries, thrombosis and other diseases can all be seen. Colour can be used to help look at the blood flow in vessels and assess disease.
Vascular ultrasound has the additional element of ‘doppler’ which enables the type of flow in the blood vessels to be assessed to determine whether there is disease or not.
A probe is used at the site of investigation of the legs, neck and abdomen. Gel is applied so that a clear image can be produced. If you are having a Venous Duplex Doppler of the lower limbs, you need to be prepared that a proper investigation like this takes some time – between 30-45 minutes.
You will be required to lie down and to stand as the deep veins and superficial veins need to be assessed. Disease can occur along all aspects of the vein and thus the entire venous system needs to be assessed if a proper assessment and treatment is to be performed. Your leg(s) will be scanned from the groin to the foot from both the front and behind.
In vein pathology, it is vitally important to have proper vein mapping done in order to target the problem veins and assess what is happening in all layers of veins and where varicose veins are linked to.