Most affordable bilateral venous ultrasound in Gastonia, NC

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    Bilateral Venous Ultrasound

    What is a bilateral venous ultrasound?

    A venous ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of veins - the blood vessels that return blood to the heart.

    Ultrasounds are non-invasive procedures that can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, such as blood clots, blockages, abnormalities in blood flow, or venous insufficiency.

    Depending on the results of your venous ultrasound, your doctor may recommend an additional Doppler ultrasound. Doppler ultrasounds use changes in the frequencies of sound waves to measure the speed and direction of blood flow through blood vessels. Because ultrasounds can show images in real-time, Doppler ultrasounds have taken the place of X-ray angiography as the main method of measuring blood flow through the veins. Regular ultrasounds can show pictures of blood vessels and organs in the body, but cannot measure blood flow through veins.

    Why do I need a venous ultrasound?

    Venous ultrasounds are primarily used to detect blood clots in the veins. Blood clots that occur in the deep veins of the arms or legs are known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These clots can break off from their initial location and travel through bloodstreams to the lungs, where they may block blood flow. This is known as a pulmonary embolism - a potentially life-threatening condition. Venous ultrasounds are used to detect these blockages early in their development, to prevent them from resulting in complications like DVT or pulmonary embolism.

    Venous ultrasounds may also be used to determine the cause of varicose and spider veins - swollen veins in the leg - and monitor the effectiveness of a stent - a medical device that improves blood flow through the veins.

    Depending on the results of your venous ultrasound, your doctor may order follow-up testing. This may include a Doppler ultrasound. Doppler ultrasounds use various sound wave frequencies to measure the speed and direction of blood flow through veins. A Doppler ultrasound can help doctors detect conditions such as:

    • Increased blood flow (a potential sign of infection)
    • Narrowed blood vessels
    • Blood clots
    • Abnormalities in the veins
    • Reduced blood flow (a potential sign of blockage or clotting)

    How do I prepare for a venous ultrasound?

    Your doctor may provide specific preparation orders if needed. In most cases, you do not need to fast or avoid medication prior to a venous ultrasound.

    It is recommended that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your appointment. It is usually required that you remove all jewelry before the scan. Depending on the area of your body being examined, you may be asked to remove your clothing and wear a gown while the ultrasound is being performed. Your doctor will provide direction if this is the case.

    What happens during a venous ultrasound?

    A venous ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure done with painless sound waves. The test will usually be done in the radiology department of a hospital, doctor's office, or a peripheral vascular laboratory.

    You'll need to remove any clothing, jewelry, or any other objects in the area being scanned and lie down on the examination table. Your doctor will use a hand-held device known as a transducer, which directs high-frequency sound waves into the arteries or veins being studied. After the area is gelled (gel helps conduct the ultrasound waves), the transducer is placed against the skin of your arms and legs for imaging.

    As the sound waves echo off your blood vessels, the transducer sends data to a computer that records the feedback and creates images.

    This procedure usually takes about 30-45 minutes. Unless further testing is needed, most individuals are free to resume daily activities after their ultrasound.

    After your appointment, a radiologist will review the images produced by the exam. They will then present their findings to your health care provider, who will pass on the results to you. This may take 1-3 business days, depending on the clinic.

    Are venous ultrasounds safe?

    Yes. Ultrasounds are non-invasive exams that provide real-time imaging of blood flow and organs in the body. This type of imaging is totally safe and extremely accurate.

    Venous ultrasounds - like all ultrasounds - record sound waves pinging off blood vessels in the body, unlike CT scans which use ionizing radiation to produce internal images of the body. This means that you will not be exposed to any radioactive substances while undergoing an ultrasound.

    Additionally, ultrasounds are generally less expensive than other forms of imaging. They do not require injections, nor is sedation needed for the procedure. These are quick and painless exams that usually take under an hour. After your appointment, you will likely be cleared to leave and go about your daily activities.

    If you have any questions about different types of imaging, talk to your health care provider about the method that is right for you.

    What is the difference between a venous ultrasound and an arterial ultrasound?

    A venous ultrasound produces images of the veins and low-oxygen blood flow back to the heart. This imaging is usually done in the upper or lower extremities (arms and legs). Arterial ultrasounds produce images of oxygen-rich blood flow from the heart - through arterial structures - into the arms and legs.

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