Duplex Ultrasound

Also Called 
Doppler Test, Vascular Lab Test, Duplex Exam, Duplex Scan, Ultrasound, Ultrasound Exam


Duplex ultrasound is a non-invasive evaluation of blood flow through your arteries and veins . This test provides information to help your vascular surgeon make a sound diagnosis and outline a treatment plan. Accuracy is critical, so ultrasound testing should ALWAYS be performed by a credentialed sonographer in an accredited vascular laboratory.

The information contained on Vascular.org is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It is very important that individuals with specific medical problems or questions consult with their doctor or other health care professional.
Why It's Done

Many arteries and the veins can be studied by ultrasound, including the carotid, arm and leg arteries as well as the abdominal aorta. Veins are also tested to help detect a clot or reflux.


Ultrasound examinations are painless and easy for the patient. The vascular laboratory will contain a bed and just two or three pieces of equipment. The examination can be done in comfortable clothing; disposable shorts or gowns may be provided. It usually takes about 30 minutes.


There are typically no side effects or complications associated with duplex ultrasound examinations.  

How to Prepare

There is little preparation required for duplex ultrasound. Occasionally, patients may need to fast before an abdominal exam. 

What Can I Expect After the Test?

There should be no side effects following a vascular laboratory exam. The results of your study can often be immediately available to your doctor.