What is a vascular ultrasound?

Vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive ultrasound method (also called a duplex study) used to examine the blood circulation. Noninvasive means the procedure does not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia.

During a vascular ultrasound, sound waves are transmitted through the tissues of the area being examined. The sound waves are recorded and displayed on a computer screen.

Why do I need this test?

Your Cardiologist has recommended that you have this test to evaluate the blood flow to specific organs in your body. Vascular ultrasound can be used to evaluate:

  • The blood flow in the arteries in your neck that supply blood to the brain
  • Blood flow in the arteries to detect the presence, severity and specific location of a narrowed area of the arteries
  • Veins that may have detect venous insufficiency and clots.
  • For unexplained swelling of the feet.

How long is the test and what is involved?

During a Doppler ultrasound, a technician (sonographer) presses a small hand-held device (transducer), against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another as necessary. This device will transmit images to the computer to be read by your doctor. It generally lasts about 1-1.5 hours.

Patient instructions:

Do not wear your compression stockings prior to your test. You should be drink plenty of water the day before and day of your exam. Patients do not have to be fasting. No sedation.

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