Duplex ultrasound / Doppler / Sonar

By: Amit Kumar, MBBS, FACS

Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation

Vascular ultrasound is the most important aspect of your care. It is a non-invasive
method of testing your circulation. This could be of your neck blood vessels (carotid and vertebral  arteries ) all the way through your body ( abdomen – aorta ) down to your feet          (arteries and veins).

The importance of ultrasound is that it is entirely dependent on the person who is performing the ultrasound. Think of it like seeing a Ferrari – you can truly appreciate it if you know the nuances of a car. The more you know of cars, the more you can appreciate the small differences. So, too with ultrasounds – those performed by trained personnel, show better diagnostics.

What all can it check for:

  1. Strokes – carotid and vertebral ultrasound
  2. Upper arm swelling – check for DVT in the arms
  3. Dialysis – it assists in identifying which vessels to use for creation of an AV fistula or how is the AV fistula working
  4. Aortic aneurysm – checks for the size of the aorta – the main artery in your abdomen
  5. Diabetic feet / gangrene – this requires a testing of the arteries of the lower legs
  6. Leg swelling / leg discoloration – venous ultrasound

What to expect:

The examination is painless and requires us to put some jelly on your body and
using a probe ( small rectangle) we visualize the inside of the body. There is
no preparation to be done UNLESS you are having an abdominal ultrasound – when
you need to come fasting for 6 hours before.

The exam takes about 30 minutes. You will discuss your results with the doctor
immediately after the test is done so that you don’t have to make an additional
trip to the doctor’s office.

Risks:

There are no risks to having this procedure.

After the procedure:

Once the ultrasound is done your plan of management can be decided upon.