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Abdominal Ultrasound

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Echocardiogram -


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Venous Doppler

 

 

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Venous Doppler


   1. Purpose of Test

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The most common reason for a venous ultrasound exam is to search for blood clots, especially in the veins of the leg. This condition is often referred to as deep vein thrombosis or DVT. These clots may break off and pass into the lungs, where they can cause a dangerous condition called pulmonary embolism. If found in time, there are treatments that can prevent this from happening.

A venous ultrasound study is also performed to:

  • determine the cause of long-standing leg swelling. In people with a common condition called varicose veins, the valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction may not work well, and venous ultrasound can help the surgeon decide how best to deal with this condition.
  • aid in the placement of a needle or catheter in a large interior vein. Sonography can help locate the exact site of the vein and avoid complications, such as bleeding or air in the chest cavity.
  • map out the veins in the leg or arm so that segments may be removed and used to bypass an area of disease. An example is using pieces of vein from the leg to surgically bypass narrowed coronary arteries.
  • examine a blood vessel graft used for dialysis if it is not working as expected; an area of narrowing in the graft may be responsible.

Doppler ultrasound images can help the physician to see and evaluate:

  • blockages to blood flow (such as clots)
  • narrowing of vessels (which may be caused by plaque)
  • tumors and congenital malformation




   2. What to expect during procedure

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For most ultrasound exams, the patient is positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved.

A clear gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin. The sonographer (ultrasound technologist) or radiologist then presses the transducer firmly against the skin and sweeps it back and forth over the area of interest.

Doppler sonography is performed using the same transducer.

When the examination is complete, the patient may be asked to dress and wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed. However, the sonographer or radiologist is often able to review the ultrasound images in real-time as they are acquired and the patient can be released immediately.

This ultrasound examination is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Most ultrasound examinations are painless, fast and easy.

After you are positioned on the examination table, the radiologist or sonographer will spread some warm gel on your skin and then press the transducer firmly against your body, moving it back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured. There may be varying degrees of discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined.

If scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the procedure.

If a Doppler ultrasound study is performed, you may actually hear pulse-like sounds that change in pitch as the blood flow is monitored and measured.

Once the imaging is complete, the gel will be wiped off your skin.

After an ultrasound exam, you should be able to resume your normal activities.





   3. How to prepare for test

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You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You will need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined.

You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.

A period of fasting is necessary only if you are to have an examination of veins in your abdomen. In this case, you will probably be asked not to ingest any food or fluids except water for six to eight hours ahead of time. Otherwise, there is no other special preparation for a venous ultrasound.



   4. When results will be available

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A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results with you. In some cases the radiologist may discuss preliminary results with you at the conclusion of your examination.


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