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Vascular Ultrasound: What to Expect

When you’re anticipating any procedure, ultrasounds included, it’s nice to know what to expect and how to prepare. Ultrasounds are easy to prepare for and — here’s the best part — they’re painless.

Here at Vascular Specialists, our experienced team conveniently offers ultrasounds at our Vein Care Institute in Tinley Park and Evergreen, Illinois. In this blog, we explain vascular ultrasounds and what you can expect during and after your appointment.

Who needs a vascular ultrasound?

Ultrasound imaging provides real-time images through the use of soundwaves — not radiation. As a diagnostic tool, these images can help identify vascular complications, evaluate your blood flow, or identify issues with your blood flow. Ultrasound can also track your progress after a procedure or treatment. 

You might benefit from an ultrasound if you have signs of venous insufficiency, leg swelling, leg pain, or suspected plaque buildup.

What to expect during your ultrasound

A sonographer, who works closely with our team of doctors, performs the ultrasound. Here’s what you can expect:

Getting you comfortable

During the ultrasound, you don’t have to do anything. You simply lie down comfortably on an exam table. Depending on which vein is being examined, you may lie on your back or your side. 

Applying ultrasound gel

The sonographer applies a thick gel to your skin. This helps the ultrasound’s handheld device glide easily, but it has an even more important job: the gel helps the sound waves travel better, creating a better image.

Using the transducer

The transducer is the handpiece that glides over your skin and produces sound waves that make echoes off your body tissue that the computer converts to images. It doesn’t hurt. Your sonographer glides the handpiece back and forth at various angles to capture all of the necessary images of your veins.

While ultrasounds don’t hurt, if you receive other treatments in conjunction with an ultrasound, such as venous ablation, you may receive a local anesthetic. If you’re undergoing a procedure that relies on ultrasound guidance, our team explains what you can expect. Preparation depends on which procedure you receive. 

Cleaning up

After your scan, which takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes, the sonographer wipes away the gel. That’s it! 

Vascular ultrasounds shape your treatment plan

After your ultrasound, the sonographer shares the results with our vascular specialists. Ultrasounds provide valuable information that helps direct your treatment plan. With the detailed images, our team can:

As noted, ultrasounds aren’t only used for diagnostic purposes. They can also be used during your treatment. For example, we may use ultrasound guidance to safely place a needle into a blood vessel. 

Benefits of vascular ultrasounds

There are many advantages to using ultrasounds. This procedure is:

Questions? If you’re concerned about vascular issues or if you would like to learn more about vascular ultrasounds, give us a call at 815-824-4406. You can also request a consultation using our online tool

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