When a doctor wants to search for blood clots, he or she may order some tests. One of these is a venous ultrasound. Learn more about it here.
Do you have varicose veins? Also known as spider veins or age veins.
They’re purple, unsightly, and people get them in fleshly places, like on their thighs or upper arms. The problem with these veins is that they could be the sign of something worse: deep vein thrombosis.
Or, they could be the sign of aging and you can zap them away with lasers. You don’t know which one until you talk to your doctor.
That’s where a venous ultrasound comes in. Learn more about who needs the process and what exactly it is in the article below.
What is a Venous Ultrasound?
This has nothing to do with children and pregnancy. Yes, ultrasound is the same technology we use to see babies in the womb, but it has numerous medical uses.
In this case, physicians use it to test and map the cartography of your veins. They’ll apply a special gel (it’s cold!) and turn on the machine.
Then they pass a device over your gelled skin, which is painless, but warm. The device sends harmless waves of sound through your body, which bounce off things like veins and bones.
It’s the same technology that bats use to “see” but hear where they’re going.
The sound waves create a map on the computer, which the doctor can read. The sound waves record the speed and direction of your blood as it travels through your veins.
So what’s the point of all this technology?
What Venous Ultrasounds Look For
If your doctor has suggested a venous ultrasound, they may be worried about deep vein thrombosis. In non-medical terms, that’s code for blood clots in your legs.
If there are blood clots in your legs, it can cause pain and reduced circulation, among other things. When the ultrasound waves go through your body, they can measure speed and find a blockage.
You could also suffer from blocked blood vessels due to peripheral artery disease.
In some cases, doctors use it to figure out circulatory problems in children. It all depends on the patient.
What Does it Feel Like?
Getting an ultrasound doesn’t hurt. It’s not even uncomfortable. The worst part about it is when they apply the cold gel to your skin.
It feels like someone’s spreading chilled Vaseline over your skin. Then, that’s the end of the discomfort.
After that, all you’ll feel is some light pressure and maybe a slight heat sensation from the head of the machine.
Usually, you don’t need to prepare for an ultrasound test, so there’s no icky fasting (unless your doc says otherwise).
A Routine Procedure
If your doctor suggests a venous ultrasound, don’t be scared. It doesn’t hurt and there’s a lot worse that could happen if you don’t find the root of the problem.
Ignorance is not bliss, but correct diagnosis and treatment are. If you’re looking for more information about medical treatments and procedures, our blog is a great resource.
Up for an echocardiogram, or a stress echo? Click here for our quick guide.