Vascular Specialists Tyler Texas
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Venous Duplex Examination: Pre-op Extremity Vein Mapping

What is a venous duplex examination for vein mapping?

Lower Extremities

When lower extremity arterial bypass surgery is required, a bypass graft using a vein often provides the best long-term result. Using the person’s own tissue reduces the risk of infection or thrombosis (clotting) of the graft. Vein grafts are also used for coronary artery bypass grafts and other purposes. The most commonly used vein is the greater saphenous vein from the lower extremity, but other superficial veins in the upper or lower extremities may be used, if needed.

It is important that the vein segments used for bypass grafts are healthy. Some vein segments may be diseased and unsuitable. In other cases, vein segments may have been removed for other operations.
Preoperative ultrasound imaging can evaluate vein segments that might be used for bypass grafts, providing the surgeon with information that may guide the planned operation.

One or more extremities may be examined, depending on the clinical circumstances.

Upper Extremities

The upper extremity vessels are assessed when patients in renal failure require an arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis  This study is done to assess the patency and suitability of both the arteries and veins for use as a dialysis AVF. The patient is usually referred from the nephrologist to the surgeon.  

 What can I expect during the exam?

A complete examination of both extremities takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.  It is performed in a darkened room lying on an exam table. A technologist will perform the test by taking images of the veins and arteries using the ultrasound equipment.  A transducer is placed on the extremity with a small amount of water soluble ultrasound gel.  A tourniquet will be placed on the upper arm for a portion of the study during the evaluation of the superficial veins.

Patient Instructions

  • Allow 20-30 minutes for one arm or leg duplex study
  • Please wear loose collar or button up shirt with short sleeves if your arms are to be examined.
  • For leg studies, you will remove your pants, socks & shoes.
  • No additional preparation is necessary for this study


Please call us with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Vascular Specialists of East Texas