Sunday, January 15, 2012

Duplex Ultrasound Evaluation: For Hidden Leg Veins by Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

Medicine is mystery to most people. There’s a reason we see general physicians for annual check-ups and visit our dentist once every 6 months: they know something we don’t. But how exactly does do they discover these things – things about our bodies that we may not have guessed at ourselves? One way a phlebologist, or vein specialist, discovers hidden varicose veins and other venous leg problems is through the use of a duplex ultrasound evaluation.

What Is a Duplex Ultrasound Evaluation?

This venous ultrasound analyzes all the health issues lying below the surface of the skin. This method of duplex scanning particularly researches the veins; your Austin phlebologist can tell a lot about your veins simply by examining the leg itself, but to discover varicose veins, ulcers or blood clots below the surface, an ultrasound of the legs is required.

The leg ultrasound uses ultrasound (high frequency sound waves) and Doppler ultrasonography to get a complete venous imaging. The ultrasound emits sound waves to the blood vessels, translating the sound waves’ movements into an image of the internal vessels. The Doppler ultrasound echoes a slight sound reflecting the blood’s movement, depicting a colored view of the blood flow.

What Can I Expect at My Ultrasound Evaluation?

This duplex scanning does not require any preparation. When you arrive at your Austin vein clinic, your phlebologist will apply an ultrasound gel to the specific area in question. They then wave a wand (“transducer,” technically) above that area, emitting the waves and receiving the image. Most often, this venous Doppler ultrasound is needed for the arteries of the lower extremity; more particularly, it’s wanted for varicose veins. In that case, the best results come from patients standing during the ultrasound. Painless and convenient, this non-invasive procedure generally only takes 30 to 45 minutes.

To discuss the option of an arterial duplex ultrasound with a qualified phlebologist, contact your Austin dermatology and vein clinic at Zimmet Vein & Dermatology. A renowned dermatologist and phlebologist, Dr. Zimmet will gladly discuss any qualms you may have and answer any questions before pursuing a procedure, personalizing your treatment.