A duplex ultrasound scan is a simple, painless, non-invasive method of looking at arteries and veins deep within the body. The duplex scanner has the ability to measure the size of the veins and arteries, and the flow of blood through them. The duplex ultrasound scanner consists of an ultrasound probe which emits short pulses of very high frequency sound, far higher than the ear can hear. The probe is applied to the skin using a special water soluble gel that allows for good contact, and by angling the probe in different directions, structures beneath the skin can be identified and scanned. A duplex scan is a very useful tool in determining the absence or presence of both arterial and venous disease and may avoid the need for x-rays in many patients.
Duplex ultrasound scans are able to be done as outpatient tests.