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What is Peripheral Vascular Ultrasound?

Peripheral vascular ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the vascular system in the arms, legs, and other peripheral areas of the body. These images help to detect any injury or abnormalities to the blood vessels and to assess blood circulation in these areas.

Indications of Peripheral Vascular Ultrasound

Peripheral vascular ultrasound is indicated to diagnose certain conditions that include:

  • Localized bulging of arteries (aneurysms)
  • Blood clots
  • Poor blood flow
  • Dissections between the layers of the arterial wall
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Narrowed blood vessels

Preparation for Peripheral Vascular Ultrasound

Preparation for peripheral vascular ultrasound include:

  • Take your regular medications on the day of the examination unless recommended otherwise by your doctor.
  • Avoid applying any lotion or powder to your arms and legs prior to coming for the procedure.
  • Stop smoking a few hours before the test as it can cause constriction of blood vessels, which may alter test results.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing as you will have to remove all clothing from the arm or leg to be tested. A sheet or gown may be provided.

Procedure of Peripheral Vascular Ultrasound

  • Your doctor will instruct you to lie on your back on a padded table.
  • A clear gel will be applied on your arm or leg and an ultrasound transducer will be moved over the skin with a slight pressure to obtain images of the arteries and veins.
  • The sound waves generated by the ultrasound transducer bounce off the internal tissues and are detected by the receiver on the transducer to produce real-time images.
  • Your doctor may ask you to change positions to obtain a clearer image of the individual arteries and veins.
  • The whole procedure will take approximately an hour.

Post-procedure Care for Peripheral Vascular Ultrasound

There is no special post-procedure care for a peripheral vascular ultrasound. You will be asked to wipe off the gel and you can resume your normal activities right away.

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