|Ultrasound is a non-invasive method of imaging inside the body. There is no radiation, magnets or radio waves and as a result it is very safe. Patients with for example pacemakers or other metal objects in their body do not need to worry when having an ultrasound. The sonographer will use the ultrasound probe on the surface of your skin to see exactly what is happening within the blood vessels in your body. The gel that the sonographer applies to the skin is non-toxic. This gel allows the sonographer to move the probe freely across the skin and also helps to improve the image quality.
||Varicose veins can range in severity. Minor varicose veins which are painless all the way to severe venous hypertension resulting in swelling, discolouration and ulceration of the lower legs. If you are concerned or your doctor is concerned about the condition of your legs then you should arrange an ultrasound for lower limb venous insufficiency (varicose veins).
||The lower limb venous ultrasound scan to check for venous insufficiency involves the patient standing and then imaging of the common femoral, femoral, popliteal, posterior tibial, peroneal, saphenofemoral junction, long (great) saphenous, anterior thigh, saphenopopliteal junction, short (small) saphenous and thigh/calf perforating veins. We will use b-mode, colour and pulse wave doppler to check the function of the veins during augmention (squeezing) of the calf/thigh.
||Arrive 5 minutes before your appointment time to allow any paperwork to be completed. Please use the toilet in this time prior to your scan. Once you have been called into the ultrasound room you will need to remove your trousers/skirt so that we can access the skin between your groin and ankle. You should leave your underwear on. You will then be asked to stand on a step facing the sonographer using the couch to rest against. The gel will be cold and the ultrasound probe will be pressed gently from the groin to the ankle. The sonographer will peform augmentation of the calf/thigh throughou the scan, this means they will squeeze the leg to move the blood up the vein. The scan usually takes 15-30 minutes per leg.
||The sonographer will check through the images and produce a worksheet with the relevant information which is then rechecked by the vascular surgeon. If you are seeing one of our specialists on the same day as the scan then they will be able to give the result immediately. Otherwise your report will be sent back to the referrer within a day or two. You can contact the referer to arrange a time to discuss the results. If the sonographer identifies any urgent problems then they will discuss it with our vascular specialists and your referrer immediately and let you know if you need to do anything further.