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Does a Vascular Ultrasound Hurt?

Does a Vascular Ultrasound Hurt?

Are you preparing for varicose vein treatment at our Vein Care Institute? Or maybe you’re still weighing your options between different types of treatments? In many cases, you may benefit from a vascular ultrasound to help determine if you’re a candidate for various venous procedures. 

In this post, our team of vascular surgeons at Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park and Evergreen Park, Illinois, answer two common questions regarding vascular ultrasounds: Why do you need one, and do they hurt?

What are vascular ultrasounds?

An ultrasound is a type of imaging test that uses sound waves to provide real-time images. Many people associate ultrasounds with routine pregnancy care, but the reality is that ultrasounds can be used to provide images of many types of soft tissues, including your blood vessels.

In particular, a vascular ultrasound uses technology to provide real-time images of and information about your blood vessels and the blood flowing within them.

Do vascular ultrasounds hurt?

Ultrasounds, including vascular ultrasounds, don't hurt. In this completely noninvasive test, the equipment used includes a computer, a video screen, and a transducer — no needles or injections required.

During your vascular ultrasound, your sonographer applies a gel to your skin. Because ultrasound waves don’t travel well through the air, the gel provides a conductive material in which the sound waves can travel from the transducer to your blood vessels.

Once the gel is in place, the sonographer glides the handheld transducer over your skin. The sound waves bounce off of soft tissue (like blood vessels), and the images are produced when the sound waves echo back. Vascular ultrasounds take about 30-45 minutes. 

Unlike X-rays, vascular ultrasounds don’t contain ionizing radiation. This means that not only are ultrasounds painless, but they’re also safe.

Even better, it’s easy to prepare for your scan. Depending on the area where you need an ultrasound, preparation may only include wearing loose-fitting clothing. However, if you’re receiving a vascular ultrasound on your abdomen, you may be asked to fast for a few hours before your test.

Rest assured, our team provides you with specific instructions based on your treatment area and if you are receiving other treatments at the same time.

When do you need a vascular ultrasound?

There are many reasons why you might need a vascular ultrasound. It helps our team assess your blood flow in order to:

Vascular ultrasounds may also be used during procedures. For example, our team may use a vascular ultrasound to guide a needle or catheter into a specific blood vessel.

Do you have more questions about vascular ultrasounds? Call Vascular Specialists, or use our online request tool to schedule an appointment.

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