Ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging modality which works by sending sound waves through the body using a handheld transducer. The sound waves reflect off tissues in the body and the information generated is synthesized into images. This is the same technology that an obstetrician uses for evaluating a pregnancy. It involves no ionizing radiation (x-ray). We use arterial ultrasound for many reasons: to assess for the location and degree of narrowing (stenosis) of an artery, to check for re-narrowing in a bypass graft, and to evaluate for aneurysm.
If you are scheduled for an ultrasound
These tests are performed in the Marin General Hospital Vascular Lab located in our suite. We want you to be relaxed and wearing comfortable clothing. Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to the procedure to register. You should take all of your regular medications.
If you are having an abdominal ultrasound or aneurysm study, you will need to fast six hours prior to the procedure. Fasting reduces bowel gas, which can limit our ability to obtain adequate imaging. If you are having a leg or arm ultrasound or carotid study, you do not need to fast.
The test is performed by a registered vascular technician (RVT). For the test, you will need to disrobe to allow us to image the area of interest. You will lay flat for the study and you will feel some light pressure as the transducer is applied to your skin. Most studies take approximately 20-40 minutes. The exam findings will be sent to your physician. If Dr. Pak has ordered the study, you will discuss it with her at your next office visit. You will be notified immediately if there are any critical exam findings.