• A venous Doppler study is a test used to check the veins in your arms and legs for a blood clot. The clot is referred to as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

    The veins in your body have a job to do. They return blood to your heart. The return of blood to your heart is aided by movement of the calf muscle that pushes blood upward while the one way valves in the veins prevent blood from flowing backward. In deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot (called a thrombus) develops in a vein causing partial or total blockage of blood flow from the leg. The affected area may be painful, swollen, and red.

    Risk factors for DVT include recent surgery or trauma, prolonged inactivity, pregnancy, obesity, changes in the blood, and a past history of venous thrombosis. DVT is of major concern due to the risk of pulmonary embolism. This occurs when part of the thrombus breaks away and travels to the lungs blocking the blood flow to that section of the lung and interferes with the delivery of oxygen to the tissues of the body.

    A venous Doppler study takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. The technologist will apply ultrasound gel to the leg and use the ultrasound transducer to assess the vein for the presence of DVT. Doppler will be used so that the blood flow can be heard as well as visualized by the technologist.

    This test is non-invasive and does not require the use of needles, catheters or dye. A physician will review the test, and the results will be discussed on your return visit.