It is a diagnostic method that is performed using equipment called an ultrasound scanner, which works based on the physical principles of ultrasound (very high frequency sounds not perceived by the human ear). The equipment emits ultrasonic sound waves that, upon entering, collide and are reflected from the different vascular structures, allowing immediate observation of the animated image of the veins and arteries, to determine their size, shape, and function.
An extremity duplex ultrasound is an exam to determine the speed and direction of blood movement through the arteries and veins of the upper and lower limbs, to determine the presence of:
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD): which can cause pain in the arm or leg.
- Aneurysm: Abnormal expansion or dilation of the wall of a blood vessel.
- atherosclerotic plaques.
- Dissection: a tear in the layers of the wall of a blood vessel.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): formation of a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs.
- Varicose veins: swollen and twisted veins that are visible under the surface of the skin.
- Abnormal increase or decrease in blood flow in the extremities.
- Among others.
To perform this procedure, you will be asked to remove your clothing and any accessories on your extremities and put on a gown that will allow the Vascular Surgeon to perform the test more easily and accurately.
A conductive gel will be applied to the area to be studied, to position the transducer, which is the tool in charge of transmitting the information to the ultrasound machine. Depending on the area being evaluated, the doctor will ask you to adopt different postures.
This test is painless and can take about 30 minutes.