Frequently Asked Questions
- Getting ready for an ultrasound requires little effort. You will be asked to remove clothing that covers your arms and legs, depending on the exam. You may be asked to remove your shoes and socks as well. A gown may be provided or you may bring shorts to wear.
- A patient with wounds/ulcers may need to remove bandages for the exam.
- If abdominal vessels, such as aorta, iliac, or renal arteries are being imaged, the patient will need to fast for 6-8 hours. If you are diabetic, you may have a piece of toast. You may drink water and take all of your medications.
- For a Carotid ultrasound you will lie down on your back during the procedure. The sonographer may gently adjust the position of your head to improve access to the side of your neck. A small amount of water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over the area of be examined. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes. You should not feel any discomfort during the procedure. If you do, tell the sonographer.
- Lower Extremity Venous ultrasound is typically performed if a clot in the vein or Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) is suspected. The veins in the legs are compressed and the blood flow is assessed to make sure the vein is not clogged. This test is also used to look for chronic venous insufficiency or leaky valves in the veins which may cause swelling or edema. The patient may experience discomfort if the legs are sensitive to pressure.
- Lower Extremity Arterial ultrasound may be performed in patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). You will lie down on the exam table. Pressure cuffs will be wrapped snuggly around your arms, above knees, calves, and ankles. The sonographer will inflate the cuffs, and sensors in the machine will record the pulse waves that correspond to each beat of your heart. Blood pressures will be recorded at your arms and ankles also. The ankle/brachial index (ABI) is determined by the ratio between these pressures. You may be asked to perform toe-ups or to walk slowly on a treadmill until symptoms are induced. After exercise, you will lie down on the exam table and repeat the arm and ankle tests.
- During an Abdominal ultrasound you lie on your back on an exam table. A small amount of gel is applied to your abdomen. The sonographer presses the transducer against your skin over your abdomen, moving from one area to another. You may feel slight discomfort when pressure is applied over certain areas of your abdomen.
* If you think you cannot tolerate lying flat on the exam table for the test or are unable to transfer to our exam table, please let us know.
We want to make sure you have the information you need to help you prepare for and understand the test you will receive. If you have questions not answered here, please feel free to call us at Phone: 415.671.6819 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your health care provider.