Vascular Specialists Tyler Texas
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Non-Invasive Abdominal Vascular Evaluation:
Abdominal & Pelvic Venous Duplex for IVC or Iliac Vein Thrombosis

What is an abdominal vascular examination?

Vascular studies are noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedures used to evaluate the blood flow in arteries and veins and to assess for blockage or stenosis. Plaque (a build up of fatty materials), a thrombus (blood clot), and other substances in the blood stream may cause a disturbance in the blood flow through the arteries. This procedure combines high resolution B-mode real-time imaging with Doppler ultrasound, color flow Doppler and spectral analysis. Ultrasound creates an image of the structure of the tissues and arteries and Doppler demonstrates the characteristics of the blood flow through the arteries. You will be able to hear the Doppler portion of the study. Gel will be placed on your skin to conduct the sound waves from the transducer.

What is IVC or iliac vein thrombosis?

The IVC is formed by the joining of the left and right common iliac veins and brings blood into the right atrium of the heart. Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot in the veins.  A blood clot (thrombus) in the vein is not dangerous in itself, however the situation becomes life-threatening when a piece of the blood clot breaks off, travels downstream through the heart into the pulmonary circulation system, and becomes lodged in the lung. Diagnosis and treatment of a thrombosis is meant to prevent pulmonary embolism.

What are the indications or symptoms for IVC or iliac vein thrombosis?

  • Lower extremity edema with negative lower extremity venous studies
  • Pelvic varicosities
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome - a medical condition in women caused by varicose veins in the lower abdomen.
  • May Thurner Syndrome -  (MTS) is caused when the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery, which increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the left extremity. DVT is a blood clot that may partially or completely block blood flow through the vein.


What can I expect during the exam?

A complete examination of the IVC and iliac veins takes approximately 45 minutes.  It is performed in a darkened room lying on an exam table. Images of the vasculature and kidneys will be taken using the ultrasound equipment.  A transducer is placed on the skin with a small amount of water soluble ultrasound gel. 

Patient Instructions

  • Allow 30 to 45 minutes for your abdominal vascular examination.
  • No smoking for one hour prior to study - it can create a constriction of your arteries and increase abdominal gas.
  • Fast for at least 8 hours before the scan -to limit any excess bowel gas which may otherwise restrict the view.
  • Wear loose comfortable two piece clothing that allows access to the abdominal area.
  • Please notify us if you suffer from diabetes and we will try and accommodate you with an early morning appointment.
  • Unless specified, you should take your usual medications with a small amount of water. 


Please call us with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Vascular Specialists of East Texas