An ultrasound is an imaging test that doctors use in the diagnosis and treatment of different medical conditions. It also offers guidance as the doctor directs a needle or catheter into a vein in order to avoid misplacement, resulting in bleeding and nerve injury complications. There are different types of ultrasounds, including abdominal and vaginal ultrasounds. For example, your doctor uses vascular ultrasound in Tomball to see and evaluate your blood vessels. The test is painless as it rarely causes any complications. Below is all you need to know about a vascular ultrasound.
What is a vascular ultrasound?
It is a non-invasive imaging test that allows physicians to assess and treat your medical conditions. The test does not require any use of contrast dye injection, which makes it painless. Avascular ultrasound sends high-frequency waves throughout your body, and the sound bounces back to a handheld device called a probe. A computer translates the sounds into images that your doctor can evaluate to assess your condition. Vascular ultrasounds usually involve doppler ultrasound, a unique imaging technique that helps your doctor visit and evaluate the blood flow in blood vessels, including veins and arteries.
Why would I need a vascular ultrasound?
The different reasons why your specialist may recommend a vascular ultrasound include:
- The evaluation of varicose veins. These are enlarged veins that develop as a result of weakened or damaged veins in your legs.
- To determine the success of procedures that bypass blood vessels.
- Monitor blood flow in the different organs and tissues in your body.
- To detect deep vein thrombosis, which is a condition whereby blood clots in the prominent veins of the legs or arms.
- Determine whether you are eligible for procedures such as angioplasty.
- Locate and identify blockage within your blood vessels to offer effective treatment.
How do I prepare for a vascular ultrasound?
No special requirements are needed as you get ready for this test. It is safe to eat and drink as you usually would. However, since the examination involves your abdominal vessels, it is best to fast before the procedure. Be sure to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. Most of the time, patients change into a hospital gown and remove all their jewelry before the test. In the case of children, talk to them before the test to make them comfortable. To ensure a smooth experience, bring toys, books, or video games they love, to act as a distraction. It is even better if the exam room has a television that can be tuned to your child’s favorite channel or show.
What to Expect During the Test
- You will lie on a flat padded exam table during the test.
- The physician applies a water-soluble gel on the area to be examined. It does not corrode your skin or stain your clothes.
- By placing a transducer over your gel-coated skin, the doctor sees internal body images on a computer. You may experience mild discomfort as the doctor applies pressure to obtain more precise shots.
- The test takes approximately 30 to 90 minutes, and afterward, patients can resume normal activities.
Avascular ultrasound allows your doctor to detect any problems in your blood vessels. To learn more about vascular ultrasound, consult with your physician at Cardiovascular Institute PA.