A Venous Ultrasound Helps Your Doctor Diagnose Or Rule Out A Blood Clot In Your Leg

If you've been having leg pain or swelling and your doctor wants to rule out a blood clot, they may order a venous ultrasound. This imaging scan provides your doctor with images of the veins in your leg so they can look for abnormalities. Here's a look at how a venous ultrasound is done. 

The Imaging Test Is Safe And Painless 

An ultrasound imaging test is safe since it doesn't use radiation like X-rays do. The test uses sound waves that go through your skin and then bounce back at different rates depending on what they hit. This information is then analyzed by a computer to create an image that shows your veins. The scan is completely painless and there are no negative side effects.

The Doctor Can See Your Veins And Blood Movement

You might be able to see the monitor as the ultrasound technician administers the test. However, the image is difficult to understand if you don't have experience with anatomy and don't know what you're looking for. The test takes video of the veins in your leg as well as still pictures.

There is a Doppler portion of the test that shows how well blood moves through your veins. You might hear a swooshing noise when this part of the test is done, and that's normal. All of this information lets your doctor know if there is a clot in one of your leg veins and if it's impairing blood flow.

The Test Is Comfortable To Take

You'll probably be lying on your back during the test so you can rest comfortably on the exam table. The technician applies warm gel to your leg and then runs a probe over the gel to get the images. A test might take several minutes, but you shouldn't be uncomfortable.

The ultrasound technician probably won't be allowed to tell you the results of the test. Instead, your scans are sent to a radiologist to be examined. The radiologist then writes a report and sends the report to your doctor. It could be a few days before you get the results of your test.

A venous ultrasound is effective at finding clots in your thigh since those veins are fairly large. Smaller veins below your knee may be more difficult to visualize, so your doctor might need to do additional tests on those. However, clots in your thigh could be the most serious, so your doctor will want to get the best images as soon as possible to understand what's going on in your leg veins. A venous ultrasound can provide the information your doctor seeks.

Contact a local health care facility, such as Physiologix Health Services, to learn more about ultrasounds.