Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive test that can be used to measure your blood flow and blood pressure by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off circulating red blood cells.
Varicose veins or swollen legs are signs of poor circulation. After long periods of poor circulation, pain symptoms may occur, especially when standing. Speak to your doctor about wearing support socks or stockings to prevent blood pressure building in the lower legs and ankles. Venous Doppler ultrasound exams are used to rule out whether swelling and pain are from poor circulation or a blot clot.
A Doppler ultrasound may help diagnose many conditions, including:
- Blood clots
- Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins, which can cause blood or other fluids to pool in your legs (venous insufficiency)
- Heart valve defects and congenital heart disease
- A blocked artery (arterial occlusion)
- Decreased blood circulation into your legs (peripheral artery disease)
- Bulging arteries (aneurysms)
- Narrowing of an artery, such as those in your neck (carotid artery stenosis)