What Is A Venous Ultrasound?
A venous ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive procedure that allows your doctor to see inside the veins of your body via sound waves.
During an ultrasound, sound waves bounce back and send information to a computer to produce images. These images are taken in real time, so they can show the doctor the current state of the veins in your body.
As part of a venous ultrasound, your doctor may also order a Doppler Ultrasound. The procedure is the same; however, a unique ultrasound technique allows your doctor to see how the blood is flowing through your veins and arteries. Sound waves will echo off of your blood vessels, which the computer can then use to produce images and graphs for your doctor to interpret.
During the Doppler procedure, you may hear the sound of your blood flow as the transducer moves over areas of your body.
There are no risks involved with venous ultrasound, and patients do not report discomfort during the procedure.
Also, ultrasound technology does not expose you to harmful radiation.
What Can Venous Ultrasound Diagnose?
The use of ultrasound technology is an essential tool for doctors and vascular surgeons. Ultrasound allows doctors to get a clear picture of what is happening inside your body and will enable them to assess the overall health of the veins throughout the body.
Venous ultrasound can help doctors see and evaluate:
- Blood flow in your veins and arteries.
- Varicose veins and abnormal blood flow.
- The underlying cause of leg swelling.
- Narrowing or blocked veins or arteries.
- The presence of blood clots.
- See how blood flows after treatment.
- Assess any bulging in an artery (aneurysm).
The Benefits Of Venous Ultrasound Diagnostics
There are many benefits associated with the use of venous ultrasound, including:
- Ultrasound is quick, non-invasive, painless, and does not require needles or injections.
- Safe and does not expose patients to ionizing radiation.
- Helps detect blood clots in the veins, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
- Accurately shows the movement of blood flow within the veins of the body.
- Provides accurate readings and diagnosis.
- FDA approved and widely available to patients.
- Effectively confirms troubling symptoms associated with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
Treatment Outcomes Using Ultrasound
Ultrasound allows your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis and pinpoint the underlying cause of your symptoms.
A diagnosis may also bring peace of mind and empowered to make a choice in treatment to alleviate the pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.
Frequently Asked Questions
For standard venous ultrasounds, there are no known harmful effects. Ultrasound is non-invasive, non-surgical, and does not expose patients to radiation.
A venous ultrasound is typically performed lying face-up on an examination table. A technician will then apply a warm water-based gel to your skin. Next, a handheld device called a transducer will be held firmly against your skin and moved back & forth over the area until a clear image is produced.
Once the required images are captured, the gel will be wiped off your skin, and you will be able to return to all regular activities immediately.
The ultrasound exam is typically complete within 30 to 45 minutes.
Minimal preparation is needed for a venous ultrasound. You may be asked to wear loose-fitting clothing or to remove clothing and jewelry to allow a specific area to be examined. Depending on the location of where the ultrasound will be conducted, you may be asked to wear a gown.
Patients typically do not experience pain or discomfort during a venous ultrasound. Slight pressure may be felt as the transducer is held against the skin, but most do not find this to be overly uncomfortable.
Small veins located in the calf, or veins lying deep beneath the skin may be hard to see using venous ultrasound. In these cases, venography may be most appropriate.
Venography is an x-ray that requires the injection of a contrast solution into the veins. The contrast will show how blood flows through your veins.
Yes. Individuals typically undergo venous ultrasound as a result of pain or discomfort they are experiencing as a result of varicose veins or underlying vein disease.
Vein disease is a diagnosed medical condition that is progressive and will worsen over time if the appropriate medical treatment is not procured.
Thus, venous ultrasounds are considered a medical necessity and often covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare.