Abdominal and IVC Venous Duplex

The inferior vena cava (IVC) is a large blood vessel formed by the joining of the left and right iliac veins. It transports impure blood from the body to the right atrium of the heart for purification. Blood clots present in the IVC may be life-threatening if they break off and travel towards the heart or the lungs. These clots can be diagnosed with the help of venous duplex ultrasound. The procedure involves using sound waves to produce images of the IVC. Duplex ultrasound is a process which combines regular ultrasound (produces images of the organs) and Doppler ultrasound (produces images of blood flow through the blood vessels) to view abnormalities in the blood vessels that affect the flow of blood.

You will be advised not to smoke for one hour and fast for about 8 hours prior to the procedure, to avoid the formation of bowel gas, which may restrict the view in your abdomen.

The IVC venous duplex procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes. Your doctor will ask you to lie on the table and a gel will be applied on the abdominal and pelvic regions on which a transducer is placed. Sound waves are transmitted and picked up by the probes to produce accurate images of the IVC. These images are then analyzed by your surgeon to check for any abnormality or clots in the IVC.