A Basic Overview of Venous Ultrasound Imaging

What it Is?

Ultrasound produces pictures of the body’s interior through the use of sound waves. It does this in a completely safe and painless way. Ultrasound imaging, sometimes called sonography or ultrasound scanning, uses a small transducer and ultrasound gel which is placed directly over the surface of the skin. At that point, high-frequency sound waves are sent into the body from the probe, through the gel. The computer will then create an image based on the sound waves collected from the transducer. It’s key to note here that ultrasound examinations do not rely on the use of ionizing radiations (which is used in x-rays); therefore, the patient experiences no radiation exposure. Ultrasound images are caught in real-time, which means that they can show the movement and structure of the body’s interior functions, along with the blood making its way through the blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging is viewed as a noninvasive medical test that goes a long way in aiding a physician’s diagnosis and treatment of a given medical condition. Venous ultrasound, in particular provides images of the veins strung throughout the body. A venous ultrasound examination might incorporate a Doppler ultrasound, which is a particular ultrasound practice which allows the physician to examine the way the blood flows through the veins and arteries in the neck, brain, arms, legs, and abdomen or within certain bodily organs like the kidneys or liver.

What it’s Used For?

Ultrasound venous exams are commonly used to find blood clots, particularly those found within the veins of a leg, in a condition often known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These clots can potentially break from the veins and find their way into the lungs, where they can lead to a dangerous condition known as pulmonary embolism. Venous ultrasound examinations can locate the blood clot early so that medical practitioners can ensure that it won’t be passed to a lung. Additionally, a venous ultrasound study might be performed in order to map out veins in the limbs so that pieces of vein can be removed and used to get by a blocked or narrowed blood vessel; help in the placement of a catheter or needle into a vein; examine a blood vessel graft being used for dialysis in the case where it isn’t work as well as expected (if it’s blocked or narrowed, for instance); find out what the cause of long-standing swelling is. Although vein conditions are much more prevalent in adults than in children, when treating children, ultrasound is mainly used to evaluate a link between a vein and an artery, which can be viewed in congenital vascular malformations (fistula or arteriovenous malformations) as well as in dialysis fistula.

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