Assessment for Deep and/or Superficial Thrombosis

Venous ultrasound is used to detect blood clots), especially in the main veins of the leg – a condition often referred to as deep vein thrombosis. When duplex ultrasound is used to scan for a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombosis of the superficial veins (superficial thrombophlebitis) the ultrasound is used to check that the veins can be “squashed” by putting light pressure on them with the probe. Veins have thin walls so a normal vein can easily be squashed, and this appears as a “kissing” of the vein as it is pressed. However, a vein with thrombus within it is solid and cannot be compressed.

It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing for all venous ultrasound. You will be asked to remove some clothing to allow easy access to the area to be examined and you may be required to change into a gown. Assessing for deep venous thrombosis using duplex ultrasound is the same non-invasive test as for arterial and other venous ultrasound scans.
A water-soluble ultrasound gel is applied to the legs and a probe is run along the skin during the examination. The gel is easily washed off and does not stain clothes. The sonographer will scan you from the groin to the ankle (even though you have pain in the calf). The test duration is 15-30 minutes. If the sonographer detects a DVT, then you may require immediate treatment. The sonographer will notify the referring doctor with the results and you will be advised to see our specialist or your referring doctor after the test.