5 Things you need to know before your ultrasound visit
Contributed by our resident ultrasound technologist and guest blogger Kent Chang, RVT
1. What is an ultrasound study of the legs?
An ultrasound is a fast, painless and simple study. Images of your vein and arteries are taken and stored. An ultrasound will be able to outline your anatomy, abnormalities in arteries such as aneurysms (larger than normal size), blockages or narrowing. We can also gain a lot of information about your vein system such as direction of blood flow, any vein valve leaks-usually the cause of varicose veins, clots or abnormal anatomy to name a few.
2. What symptoms do I need to have?
Symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD) include leg pain that does not go away when you stop exercising, cold feet or decrease in the temperature of the leg or foot , cramping of the legs especially calves when walking, skin ulcers or foot or toe wounds that won’t heal or heal very slowly and gangrene.
Symptoms of venous disease include leg pain, restless legs, throbbing, achy legs, presence of varicose veins, ankle or leg swelling, change in skin color or redness around ankles and calves.
3. How long will my visit take and how do I prepare for my ultrasound?
Plan on dedicating 20-45 minutes for your ultrasound visit depending on the type of study needed. You will not need any preparation for your study.
4. What goes on during my ultrasound study?
A Registered Vascular Technologist will perform the study following a strict protocol. Our vascular lab is accredited by the American College of Radiology.
You will have the option to change into disposable paper shorts or if you prefer, your own shorts during the ultrasound exam visit.
A water soluble gel will be used during the exam.
For the venous ultrasound, expect to be scanned in two positions. For the first part of the study, you will be asked to stand on a dedicated vascular step with handrails. This is to detect a vein valve leak. The technologist may gently squeeze your leg at specific times during the ultrasound study to increase the accuracy of detecting a leak.
The second part of the ultrasound study is performed while laying down on a comfortable exam table.
The arterial scan is performed while laying down.
5. When do I receive my results?
The ultrasound technologist will gather all necessary information per protocol in order to submit the images and findings to the supervising physician. Our physician will then review all images and details and create a final report within 24 hours. You will, however be able to meet with our physician on the day of your ultrasound for a preliminary result. Once the ultrasound is complete, a follow up consult is scheduled. More often, this consult visit is scheduled on the same day as the ultrasound study. Results will be discussed and a custom plan of treatment and care will be given to you.
If you have varicose veins and would like to schedule an appointment: Call (949) 364-0080 or email OC VeinCare to schedule your free vein screening today.