Vascular Specialists Tyler Texas
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Non-Invasive Venous Evaluation for Venous Insufficiency

What is venous insufficiency?

In the lower extremities, blood returns to the heart through a network of deep and superficial veins. Normal venous flow patterns depend on open venous channels and the function of numerous valves within the veins. Venous insufficiency may occur if veins are obstructed (from chronic thrombus, for example) or if the valves are incompetent — no longer providing for only one-way flow. Venous valvular incompetence in superficial veins or the communicating veins that connect the deep and superficial veins can result in varicose veins. Untreated chronic venous insufficiency in the deep or superficial venous system can cause a progressive syndrome involving pain, swelling, skin changes and eventual tissue breakdown. Duplex scanning of the deep and superficial veins can detect obstruction. In addition, the function of valves in each segment of the evaluated veins can be assessed by determining the direction of blood-flow using Doppler ultrasound. When surgical treatment, sclerotherapy,or saphenous venous ablation (closure) is being considered, a complete lower-extremity venous duplex scan can provide valuable information that may guide therapy. A complete study may include both lower extremities.

What is a venous duplex examination?

A venous duplex is a type of vascular ultrasound study done to assess the veins of the legs. The veins will be evaluated for thrombus in the veins as well as competence of the valves.  Vascular studies are a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the blood flow in the veins. Ultrasound creates an image of the veins and Doppler demonstrates the characteristics of the blood flow through the veins. 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 are the indications or symptoms for a venous duplex for venous insufficiency?

Risk factors for venous insufficiency include:

  • Age
  • Being female (related to levels of the hormone progesterone)
  • Being tall
  • Genetic factors
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged sitting or standing

Symptoms for venous insufficiency include:

  • Dull aching, heaviness, or cramping in legs
  • Itching and tingling
  • Pain gets worse when standing
  • Pain gets better when legs are raised
  • Swelling of the legs

People with chronic venous insufficiency may also have:

  • Redness of legs and ankles
  • Skin color changes around the ankles
  • Superficial (on the surface) varicose veins
  • Thickening of the skin on legs and ankles
  • Ulcers on the legs and ankles

What can I expect during the exam?

A complete examination of both extremities takes approximately 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 using the ultrasound equipment.  A transducer is placed on the extremity with a small amount of water soluble ultrasound gel.  For better assessment of the veins, the patient will be placed in a dependent position on the exam table, and may be asked to stand for part of the study.

Patient Instructions

  • Allow 30 minutes for one leg and 60 minutes for both.
  • You will remove your pants, socks & shoes for the study.
  • Keep legs warm, if possible, the day of the study.
  • If you are able, please stand and walk the day of the study before arriving for appointment.
  • Do not wear compression stockings or keep your legs elevated the day of your study.
  • Please drink plenty of water the night before and the day of your study.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (903) 533-8702.

Vascular Specialists of East Texas