Venous Ultrasound, Why It May be Necessary and What to Expect
- Posted on: Sep 15 2017
Vein disease as minimal as varicose veins may create a risk for more serious conditions. To evaluate the condition of veins physicians may order a test referred to as venous ultrasound. This screening test observes superficial blood vessels in the legs or arms, as well as deeper veins. What the venous ultrasound ultimately shows us is the state of blood flow through the vessels in a target area.
Proper screening for superficial thrombophlebitis or venous thrombosis is integral to a successful course of treatment. Vein specialists rely on accurate imaging to confirm the source of symptoms. Symptoms inlcude leg or arm fatigue, redness on the skin, and generalized pain in the affected area. Deep vein thrombosis is a potentially serious condition in which a blood clot may dislodge and travel to the lungs. Confirmation of a blood clot facilitates prompt and appropriate care.
What to Expect During Venous Ultrasound
Typically, there are no pre-screening instructions prior to venous ultrasound. In some cases, a patient may be told not to eat or drink for a few hours before their appointment. It is also recommended that comfortable clothing be worn to the screening appointment. Ultrasound is conducted with a hand-held sensor which glides over the skin that has been lightly coated with clear gel. As the sensor moves along the leg, veins can be viewed from various angles. The pressure applied to the body through the sensor varies from light to firm from time to time. This shows whether or not the vein changes shape under pressure.
In addition to seeing images of the veins in the leg during the venous ultrasound, patients may also hear a swishing noise that is similar to a heartbeat. This is the sound of blood circulating through the veins. Throughout the duration of the 15- to 30-minute test, most patients feel no discomfort. In some cases where a vein is already sensitive, the slight pressure of the sensor may incite a bit of tenderness. Do you have questions about the imaging services offered in our Houston and Humble facilities? We’d be happy to speak with you. Contact a friendly member of our staff for assistance.
Posted in: Ultrasound