What is Venous Doppler Ultrasound?

A venous Doppler study is a noninvasive study used to measure the direction of blood flow through a vein using high frequency waves.This study is useful in detecting any abnormalities which may present within a vein.

Why do I need it?

A venous Doppler study may be used for the following reasons:

  • To search for deep vein thrombosis (DVT)- a blood clot within the vein
  • To determine narrowing within the vein
  • To detect any congenital malformations or presence of any vascular tumor
  • To determine the cause of long standing leg swelling
  • As an guidance tool for the exact placement of a catheter into a vein

What is the risk?

  • There is no risk associated with this study.
  • No radiation exposure is used during this study.

How do I prepare for the study?

  • No specific preparation is required. You may follow your daily eating habits before and after the study.
  • Clothing will need to be removed over the area being examined. You may consider wearing shorts for the study, if not a gown will be provided.

What happens during the study?

  • You will lie on a table while a trained ultrasound technician applies a clear jelly over the desired area. A probe is used to glide over this jelly which helps in transmission of sound waves through the skin.
  • The probe is pressed firmly over the skin in various angles and locations tracing over the area of interest. The limb may be squeezed at various times to check for the flow of blood through the vein. These sound waves show up as images on a monitor to be recorded and interpreted.
  • The study may last up to 30 minutes.

What happens after the study?

After the study is over, the jelly is wiped off and you may return to your daily activities.

The result:

  • The results of the study will show as either normal or abnormal.
  • A normal study shows normal blood flow with no evidence of deep vein thrombosis.
  • An abnormal study shows reduced blood flow with or without deep vein thrombosis.
  • This study helps in coming to a conclusion to some of the symptoms you may be having, assess the patency of the vein, as well as detecting any other abnormal findings.