Ultrasound is a non-invasive 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 the obstetrician uses for accessing a pregnancy. It involves no ionizing radiation (x-ray). We use venous ultrasound to assess for venous insufficiency which can produce varicose veins or leg edema, and to assess for clots.
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. You do not need to fast.
The test is performed by a registered vascular technician (RVT). For the test, you will need to remove pants because we will need access to your entire leg to image the area of interest. For varicose vein ultrasounds, you will stand for the study so that we can evaluate the direction of flow in the veins to determine reflux. If you cannot stand or feel uncomfortable doing so, we will have you lay on the exam table and we will tilt it so that your legs are downward. 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.