Venous Vascular Ultrasound vs. Venography: Comparing Diagnostic Techniques

Venous vascular ultrasound or venography are both used to diagnose blood flow in the veins and for certain treatments. However, venous vascular ultrasound is mostly recommended because it is safe, whereas venography has certain risk factors involved. However, if venous ultrasound can’t produce enough information about the veins, then venography is recommended. Before the procedure, make sure you confirm all the possible risk factors with the provider. Get a consultation with the best cardiologists in Brooklyn.



This test is performed by a radiologic technologist who follows these steps:

  • First, you need to lie on an X-ray table and the technician will strap you to the table.
  • They’ll look at the affected site (veins which are usually from your foot, groin, or neck), and give a local anesthetic injection to numb the site.
  • Now, the technician injects a contrast dye into your veins through an intravenous line which may make you feel a bit of pressure on the area where it is inserted. You may not feel pain but warm or flushed as the dye flows in your veins and feel like passing when the test ends.
  • Your technician may adjust the angle of positioning of the X-ray table to get different views of your veins. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, then make sure you tell them.
  • The technician may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds and stay very still or perform the Valsalva maneuver (which your technician explains how to do). These techniques allow the technician to capture high-quality images.
  • After that, the technician clears the contrast dye out of your veins.

The whole procedure may take 30 to 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours) and after the test, the provider may monitor you for any allergic reactions and other complications. Then you can go home and drink plenty of water for the next 24 hours to flush out contrast dye from your system.

Venous ultrasound

During the procedure, you need to lie down face up on the exam table to be tilted or moved to get better images. The technician applies a clear water-based gel to your body which helps the transducer to make secure contact with the body. Additionally, it eliminates air pockets between the transducer and the skin that may block sound waves passing through your body in the process.

The technician then places the transducer on the skin at various locations to sweep over the affected area and area of interest. They may also change the angle of the sound beam to a different location to better see the area of concern. When the exam is complete, the technician can ask you to dress and wait until they review your ultrasound images.

A whole venous ultrasound process may take 30 to 45 minutes.



Here are several risks of venography which include:

  • Pain, bruising, or infection to the puncture site.
  • Allergic reaction to the contrast dye.
  • Exposure to small doses of radiation.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Rarely may cause deep vein thrombosis.

However, the benefits of venography outweigh these risks. In cases such as severe kidney disease or pregnancy, venography is too risky to perform. So, discuss all possible risks with your provider before the test.

Venous ultrasound

This is an extremely safe procedure because it doesn’t require injection, needles, or radiation to produce results.


Both procedures produce images that are analyzed by a radiologist and sent to the provider. Your healthcare provider tells you what your result means. For example, the images show that a blood clot in a deep vein in your leg can be treated based on the findings.

Sometimes, providers also use venography for real-time imaging guidance during surgical procedures or venous ultrasound to reduce the risk of complications in some cases. If that is the case, then doctors may not discuss your results with you, instead they use images to guide your treatment.

If you need advice on which procedure is best for you, visit our cardiology clinic in Brooklyn to get proper medical attention. For any heart problems, call us on +1(347) 384-5690. The Cardiologists at Doral Health & Wellness consistently have outstanding patient satisfaction ratings. The professionals at Heart Specialist Brooklyn are able to greatly improve their patient’s health and quality of life because of their vast training and experience. New Yorkers can get the greatest medical, surgical, and cardiovascular care at Doral Health & Wellness Brooklyn. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.