Lower Extremity Arteries
Vascular disease is a serious condition that involves abnormal functioning within the veins of the legs, which can lead to complications such as aneurysm and stroke. A venous ultrasound provides diagnostic images of the vessels within the lower extremities, most commonly used to diagnose peripheral vascular disease. This procedure can identify narrowed or blocked arteries or veins and is essential in achieving successful vein treatment.
Many patients may experience significant vein reflux that can only be detected through ultrasound imaging. A venous ultrasound can show a thorough, detailed image of the veins, along with the direction of blood flow to help accurately diagnose vascular conditions. In addition to its diagnostic purpose, venous ultrasound can also be used to place a needle or catheter in a vein and plan the removal of narrowed or blocked veins.
Once the results have been analyzed, your doctor will determine a personalized treatment plan to relieve swelling, pain and other symptoms, and to relieve any blockages within the legs to ensure proper blood flow.
Ultrasound is a primary diagnostic and visualization tool because of its convenience, safety and effectiveness. Ultrasound produces images of internal structures through the use of high-frequency sound waves, whose echoes are used to create moving and still images.
This visualization allows the doctor to target the location and precise nature of the problem area. Additionally, all image recording happens in real time as soon as the machine is turned on and placed on the body. There is no wait for any sort of picture development needed for X-rays and other imaging procedures.
How It Works
The ultrasound procedure begins with the patient lying down on the examination table as a water-based gel is applied to the area on their body that will be observed. This gel allows consistent contact between the body and the transducer, free of any air pockets that could get in the way. The transducer is kept firmly against the skin and is moved back and forth across the area to allow for the most detailed observation possible. The whole procedure usually takes 30 minutes.
There is no discomfort associated with this procedure, although if the part of your body being observed has already been tender there may be some slight pressure against it. If a Doppler type ultrasound is used, you may actually hear the pulses of the device. There is no clinical risk inherent in ultrasonography as it uses no invasive methods or ionizing radiation and does not cause any health problems.