Ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves to “see” inside your body. An arterial duplex ultrasound uses sound waves to create a color map of the arteries in your leg(s) to identify narrowing of your vessels that may be causing leg pain when walking, resting leg pain, foot, ankle, heel or toe ulcers, or skin discoloration.
Before Your Exam
- There is no preparation for this procedure.
- We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass any time you have to wait.
- Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
Above: an arterial duplex ultrasound showing blood flow in the right femoral artery in the leg.
During Your Exam
- The vascular technologist will explain your exam and answer any questions you may have.
- Your procedure will be performed with you lying on the examination table on your back with your hands at your sides or on your stomach.
- The technologist will apply warm gel to your leg(s).
- A transducer, a small, microphone-like device, will be placed over various locations on your leg(s).
- Blood pressure readings will be taken of your ankles. You will not feel any pain; however you will feel mild pressure from the blood-pressure cuff and the transducer.
- Sound waves will bounce off the muscle and tissue in your body and off the blood moving in your arteries. This creates “echoes.” The echoes are reflected back to the transducer. A television monitor shows images as the transducer converts the echoes to electronic signals.
- These images may be viewed immediately or photographed for further study.
- You will hear unusual sounds as the technologist views and records the blood flowing through the veins and arteries in your leg(s).
- Your exam will take approximately 60 minutes; in some cases you will be asked to do some mild exercises, which can take longer.
After Your Exam
- There are no post-exam instructions.