Venous Doppler is a vein testing technique that uses sound waves to create a picture of the veins in your arms and legs. The ultrasound equipment takes pictures of the blood flowing through your veins and measures the pressure inside those blood vessels. Venous Doppler shows any blockages caused by blood clots or other obstructions.
Arteries carry nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Your cells exchange the nutrients and oxygen, which are essential for function, with carbon dioxide and waste products. Veins carry blood containing these waste products back to your heart and lungs.
Veins must work hard to carry blood upwards against the force of gravity. One-way valves in your legs open and close at just the right time to trap blood in your veins in between heartbeats to prevent it from flowing backwards down into your feet. Blood pooling in your lower legs can cause varicose veins.
If you have vein disease, you are not alone. About half of all Americans suffer from some form of vein disease, according to the Society of Interventional Radiologists. Unhealthy veins, poorly functioning valves and blood clots can cause vein disease and other health problems.
Venous Doppler for Vein Testing
Venous Doppler is a non-invasive test that your vein doctor can perform in the office. Vein doctors and venous surgeons use this type of ultrasound before, during and after a procedure to evaluate your circulation.
Venous Doppler is a type of ultrasound test. An ultrasound works by bouncing high-frequency sound waves off the red blood cells circulating in your veins. To perform an ultrasound, the healthcare practitioner moves a handheld transponder along the surface of the skin on your legs. The transponder bounces sound waves off the red blood cells then gathers information about the sound waves as they return. This information then goes to a computer that uses the data to create an image.
A regular ultrasound can create pictures of your veins but it cannot show blood flow. A venous Doppler ultrasound, on the other hand, can show blood flowing through your veins. It works by measuring the Doppler effect of the red blood cells as they pass by the handheld transponder.
The Doppler effect is the sudden change in pitch an object makes as it passes by you. Like a freight train or siren, red blood cells make a different noise when they are coming towards you than when they are moving away from you. A Doppler ultrasound measures these changes in pitch to determine how fast blood is flowing inside your veins.
Vein Testing with Venous Doppler
Your doctor uses vein testing with venous Doppler to help diagnose a variety of conditions, such as:
- Blood clots
- Dysfunctional or worn out valves in your leg veins
- Valve defects
- A blocked artery
- Poor blood circulation in your legs, also known as peripheral artery disease
- Bulging arteries
- Narrowing of an artery
For more information about venous Doppler for vein testing, make an appointment with your vein doctor in New Jersey.