Your Vascular Ultrasound Exam: What to Expect

Vascular ultrasound is a safe and painless exam that uses high-frequency sound waves to create a real-time view of organs in the body.

A vascular ultrasound helps radiologists to:

  • Detect blockages
  • Detect blood clots in deep veins
  • See the extent of plaque buildup
  • Detect aneurysms
  • Assess whether a particular blood vessel can be used as a graft
  • Assess the success of prior procedures
  • Monitor blood flow to organs and tissues in the body
  • Determine the source and severity of varicose veins
  • Determine if a patient is a good candidate for angioplasty

Vascular ultrasound and doppler ultrasound

Radiologists often perform a Doppler ultrasound along with a vascular ultrasound. A Doppler ultrasound measures blood flow and creates color images to show the direction and speed of blood flow through the blood vessels. Doppler ultrasound can be performed on many areas of the body including the arteries and veins of the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

What to expect during a vascular ultrasound exam

You’ll change into a gown and lie down on the exam table. A specially trained ultrasound technologist will conduct your exam and ensure you feel comfortable. A gel will be applied to your skin to ensure good contact with the ultrasound equipment. A small handheld device called a transducer will be applied to the area to be imaged. High frequency sound waves are transmitted through the body and the transducer collects information about the sound waves that bounce back. Ultrasound equipment converts this information into images, which appear on the screen of the ultrasound machine. After the technologist has finished collecting the images, they will be sent to a radiologist, who will interpret them and create a full report. The report will be sent to your physician, who will discuss the results with you.

Vascular ultrasound side effects

There are no known harmful side effects to an ultrasound exam. No special preparation is necessary before a vascular ultrasound. You may eat and drink as you normally would and take your regular medications.

Schedule your vascular ultrasound with AAR

Schedule your vascular ultrasound exam quickly and easily by calling 703-824-3260. Come to AAR for the best clinical expertise and patient care in the northern Virginia area—in a recent survey of our patients, 100% of then would recommend AAR to their friends or family!