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Proper Preparation is Essential for a Vascular Ultrasound

by Bonnie Gordon

The ultrasound test shows the blood flow in vessels, which includes the arteries and veins. This test is essential for identifying various diseases so that they can be treated early. The great thing about an ultrasound test is that it is non-invasive; there is no use of dyes, anesthesia, or needles. One example is the duplex scanning, which uses a combination of ultrasound and doppler. The sound waves reflect off of blood cells, providing the technician with an image of your blood. There are several things that you must do to prepare for this exam. 

Eating and Drinking 

If you will be having an abdominal vascular ultrasound, do not eat or drink eight hours before the exam. Eating may cause your gallbladder to look abnormal. You must especially not consume anything that contains fats or sugar. If your child will have an abdominal ultrasound performed, he or she should not eat or drink four hours before the exam. That said, the patient may be given a medication before the ultrasound. He or she should sip a small amount of water when taking the medicine. 

What You Should Wear

You must remain still, and this is much easier when you are comfortable. Wearing a comfortable shirt with no collar will make the process easier. Wear clothing that is not too tight, but not so loose that it can become snagged. Do not wear a necklace or earrings that dangle because jewelry may be caught in the machine.

Other Preparations

Do not smoke or chew gum before the procedure. You do not want to smoke because this may interfere with your circulation and with the test results. If you are diabetic, make sure to take your insulin before the ultrasound, since a lack of insulin may also interfere with the results of the test. 

Other Tests May Be Performed

In addition to the ultrasound, your doctor may use other diagnostic tools in order to better assess your arteries. For instance, a transducer might be used to compress your veins in order to determine if there is a clot in the veins. After the exam has been completed, the physician will review the images. The radiologist gives your physician a report between 24 and 48 hours. Then, with the results, you will be able to discuss whether treatment options are necessary. If your doctor discovers a blockage in the arteries, this should be treated because it can lead to a stroke.

For more info, talk to hospitals like the DeSoto Memorial Hospital.