Duplex Ultrasound scan to assess Varicose Veins

A venous ultrasound study of the legs is performed to determine the cause of long-standing leg swelling, eczema, aching or pain or visible varicose veins. The term varicose veins is where the valves that normally keep blood flowing back to the heart may be damaged.

Varicose vein scans are usually performed standing up, with the weight on the leg that is not being scanned. In some cases, you may lie on a tilted couch instead of standing. In some cases, the leg may be examined whilst sitting on the edge of the couch with the leg dangling over the edge. The venous ultrasound is non-invasive and similar to the arterial ultrasounds with gel on the leg and running a probe along the skin. The sonographer will scan you from the groin to the ankle and the test duration is 30-60 minutes. The test should be painless. If you have any pain or discomfort or open wounds, please discuss this with the sonographer so they are aware for your comfort.
To be able to assess the blood refluxing back down the veins, the sonographer may squeeze the calf or foot to stimulate the muscle pump.
By examining the veins in the legs, a map of all the veins is produced for the surgeon to assess and plan the best course of treatment.