Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular Ultrasound

As part of our comprehensive range of vascular services, we are pleased to be able to offer the convenience of on-site specialist vascular ultrasound and diagnostic services.

A vascular ultrasound is type of medical imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves to examine the blood vessels. It not only provides images of the blood vessels, but it also enables measurement of blood flow as well. It can be used to study most arteries and veins in the body, and can detect problems such as blood clots, plaque, aneurysms and damaged valves.

It is non-invasive, extremely safe, usually painless and does not use radiation or contrast dyes. There are no needles or injections, and usually minimal preparation. You can drive to and from the appointment.

Vascular Ultrasound imaging machine at Sunshine Coast Vascular, Buderim QLD
Vascular ultrasound image showing blood flow through a blood vessel.

What happens during a vascular ultrasound?

The scan is performed by a vascular sonographer, who is a radiographer that has undergone extensive specialised training in vascular ultrasound. The sonographer will first ask you a series of questions and explain the examination that is going to be performed.

A warmed, water-based gel is applied to the skin over the area being examined. The sonographer will then gently move the ultrasound transducer over the area in order to capture images of the blood vessels. You may hear a range of different pulsing or whooshing noises from the machine when the blood flow is being measured. The scan is usually painless, although sometimes some mild pressure may need to be applied with the transducer in order to capture good quality images.

When the scan is complete, the gel will be wiped off and you can return to usual activities immediately.

What preparation is needed?

In most cases, you won’t need to have any special preparation for a vascular ultrasound. The area being examined will need to be exposed during the examination, so you may be advised to wear loose fitting clothing or need to change into a gown. You may be asked to fast before your scan, particularly if the abdominal area is being examined. Our reception staff will advise you if there is any special preparation required.

How long will it take?

The amount of time it takes to complete the examination will depend on the area being assessed. Most scans take around 30 minutes, but it can take an hour or more if multiple areas are being examined at the same appointment or it is a complicated scan. Our reception staff can give you an indication as to the likely time your scan will take.

What is a treadmill test?

A treadmill test is a bit like a heart stress test, but is performed on the legs. It is used to determine if leg pains with walking are likely due to problems with blood flow, or due to another cause such as a joint problem or a pinched nerve.

The first part of the test involves measuring the blood flow in the legs while resting. The blood pressure in the feet or sometimes toes is measured using a blood pressure cuff and a special small ultrasound device.

You will then be asked to walk on a treadmill at a comfortable pace. The test stops if you experience leg pain or other discomfort, or after about 5 minutes. The blood pressure in your feet will then be measured again. The blood pressure in the feet will tend to drop with exercise if the blood flow is restricted.

The test may sometimes be performed in conjunction with a more thorough ultrasound of the leg arteries if this is yet to be performed.

Couple sitting on a pier watching the sun set over a lake

When do I get my test results?

A detailed report and diagram will be provided to your referring doctor within 24 hours. You will need to arrange a follow up appointment with your referring doctor to discuss the results.

Have a referral?

Book your consultation today.

Our other services

Varicose Veins
Blocked leg arteries
Carotid Disease & Stroke