An ultrasound is used to determine whether there is a blockage of blood flow in the veins, and if so, the location and the size of the clots. This test is also known as a Doppler ultrasound, compression ultrasound, duplex ultrasound or venous ultrasound.

Ultrasounds are usually performed in the Radiology department. The patient lies flat while the legs are scanned with an ultrasound probe. This test takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

An ultrasound is a very low risk procedure and can be performed on anyone, including pregnant women. There are no preparations required.

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