Arterial Duplex Testing: An Overview
An arterial duplex testing is a quick, painless and non-invasive exam. This process uses high-frequency sound waves, or ultrasound, to capture imaging of the major arteries. An arterial duplex ultrasound can help your vascular surgeon determine if there are any blockages or narrowing in your arteries. The accuracy of this test is very critical, so ultrasound testing should always be performed by a credentialed sonographer, in an accredited vascular laboratory like Buckeye Vascular Institute.
Why is arterial duplex testing performed?
Many arteries and veins can be studied by ultrasound. We test veins to detect a clot or reflux. Arterial duplex testing can:
- Address resting leg pain
- Treat skin discoloration
- Identify narrowed vessels
- Evaluate any sores or ulcers
- Identify the reason for tingling, tightness, or numbness
- Assess a vascular dialysis device
- Assess procedures done before to restore blood flow to an area
- To determine why you have decreased blood flow in arteries, veins in your neck, legs, or arms
An arterial duplex ultrasound can help your physician determine if any of the symptoms listed above are linked to a more severe health condition. With hospital or self-pay billing, the arterial duplex testing is $2,522.49. With insurance billing, it is $489. However, with our self-pay, this treatment is $241.
Arterial Duplex Testing: What To Expect
How To Prepare
Your physician will review any preparation required before your ultrasound. In most cases, patients won’t need to follow any strict preparation requirements. However, if you are receiving an abdominal ultrasound, you may be required not to eat or drink after midnight on the night before your test. Wear comfortable clothing and leave jewelry and valuables at home.
What To Expect
The technician will spread the gel over the designated area, depending on the type of study ordered. Once we apply the gel, your technician carefully glides a transducer over the designated area to produce images of your arteries. The images identify any blockages in the arteries. Your technician may ask you to change position or take deep breaths throughout the test to produce more images.
After Your Exam
Once testing is complete, your physician assesses and analyzes the results. They determine if you need further testing or treatment. There are no post-exam instructions. There should be no side effects after your arterial duplex ultrasound. The ultrasound specialist reviews the results of your test and sends them to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
Arterial Duplex Testing FAQs
How long does arterial duplex testing take?
Testing can usually take about 30 minutes to complete. This depends on the test area and other factors.
What does poor circulation in the legs feel like?
The most common symptoms of poor circulation include tingling, numbness, throbbing, or stinging pain in your limbs. It can feel like when your leg falls asleep.
Why is it called duplex ultrasound?
The term “duplex” refers to the fact that two modes of ultrasound are used, Doppler and B-mode. The B-mode transducer (like a microphone) obtains an image of the vessel being studied. The Doppler probe within the transducer evaluates the velocity and direction of blood flow in the vessel.
Are duplex and Doppler the same thing?
A duplex ultrasound combines traditional ultrasound and doppler ultrasound. Traditional ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures. Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off of blood to measure speed and other aspects of how it flows.
What does red mean on a leg ultrasound?
On a leg ultrasound red colors represent blood flow, specifically blood moving towards the probe. Blue represents blood flow moving away from the probe.
How do you prepare for an arterial ultrasound?
Preparation for an arterial ultrasound is relatively quick and easy. Patients are asked to remove their pants, shoes, and socks, and lay down on the exam table. Our technologist will listen to the blood flow throughout your legs, and then take your blood pressure around your toes, ankles, calves, thighs, and arms.
What do you wear for leg ultrasound?
We recommend that patients wear shorts for a leg ultrasound, to make it easier for us to take readings. If you wear pants to your appointment, we may ask you to change into a hospital gown.
Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute is your first and top resource for heart and vascular testing in Dayton, Ohio. In addition to arterial duplex testing, we offer many important heart and vascular services. If you have any questions related to your procedure, please call us at 937-203-8602. You can also send us questions or request an appointment online anytime.