Ultrasound plays an extremely important role in diagnosis of vascular disorders. When patients come for a consultation, the physicians can diagnose, confirm, and determine a plan of care due the convenience and reliability of the ultrasound exam in one visit (schedule permitting).
The industry standard for the diagnosis and treatment of both venous and arterial problems is an ultrasound exam; this is what we use in our Vascular Lab. Ultrasound is the use of high frequency sound waves to produce an image of internal body structures. Ultrasound is the preferred method by physicians to assess all vascular disorders. It is safe, timely, and inexpensive when compared to other types of medical imaging. There is no harmful radiation involved because this process is uses sound waves.
Why is an extremity arterial ultrasound performed?
This test is used to:
Look for blockages or narrowing caused by plaque in the arteries of the arms or legs.
Look for enlargement of the arteries in the arms or legs (aneurysm).
Monitor existing arterial disease or follow-up after surgical intervention.
Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?
Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).
Should I take my medications the day of the test?
Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.
What happens during the test?
A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam.
You will need to remove your pants, socks and shoes for a leg exam or remove your shirt for an arm exam. The sonographer will provide you with a paper drape or gown. During the exam you will lie on your back on an exam table. The sonographer will move a transducer along your arm or leg. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.
How will I feel during the test?
You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your arm or leg.
How long does the test take?
An exam of a single arm or single leg takes about 30 minutes and an exam of both arms or both legs takes about 60 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.