A venous ultrasound is one of the most common tests. It evaluates the blood flow of your leg or arm to check for blood clots. If you are having swelling or pain in the leg, your doctor may order an ultrasound to check for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- You can expect to be at the clinic between 30-60 minutes, depending on your procedure(s) and barring any unforeseen delays.
- Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
- Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
- Take all prescribed medications as directed.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Please do not bring children who require supervision.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- You will be asked to remove your pants or top, depending on whether your leg or arm is being examined.
- A warm, non-scented, hypo-allergenic ultrasound gel will be applied to the area being scanned.
- You will be asked to lie on your back with your leg slightly bent at the knee. You may have the upper part of your body raised a bit for comfort.
- The sonographer will move the transducer (probe) over the leg from the groin to just below the knee for the first part of the exam. The probe will be pressed against your leg to cause the veins to squeeze closed momentarily. This is not harmful to the vein but it is the preferred method of checking for a blood clot. The pressure may be quite uncomfortable for the few seconds it takes to evaluate each segment of the vein down the leg.
- For the second part of the exam, we will check your blood flow with Doppler ultrasound. You will hear a sound like “wind blowing.” When the sonographer squeezes your calf or asks you to move your foot to cause the blood to flow, the sound will get louder. This is the only part of the test that is noisy and it only lasts for a short time.
- If it's necessary to scan your arms, you will by lying down with your arms placed in various positions. The sonographer will scan from the neck, along the shoulder and down to the elbow. We may also scan down to the wrist. Occasionally, you may be asked to sit for part of this exam.
- If the test is positive for a blood clot, the radiologist will speak to you before you leave the clinic, otherwise a report will be sent to your doctor within two days. You will then be free to leave.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinic.
FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.
1 leg: 20 minutes
2 legs: 40 minutes