You need to be referred to us by a doctor (registered medical practitioner). Note: You must have a pre-arranged booking with us made by either yourself or the referring clinic.
What to bring
On the day, you will need to bring your
- Request Form
- Medicare or Department of Veterans Affairs card
- Any relevant previous Imaging or Reports
Also, depending on your examination request you may need to make some preparations. Check the following to see what applies to you:
- Ankle Brachial Indices (Rest or Exercise) – Arrive 10 minutes prior to appointment to allow for resting period (so that blood supply to lower limbs returns back to a resting state).
- Aorta – Nil food or drink for at least two hours prior
- Carotid Duplex – Nil
- Haemodialysis Fistula – Nil
- Lower Limb Arterial or bypass graft – Arrive 10 minutes prior to appointment to allow for resting period (so that blood supply to lower limbs returns back to a resting state).
- Lower Limb Venous (Insufficiency or DVT) – Nil
- Mesenteric Arterial or Renal Arterial – Nil food or drink for at least four hours prior. Arrive 15 minutes prior to appointment for final preparation.
- Ovarian Veins – Nil food or drink for at least two hours prior.
- Upper Limb Arterial or Venous – Nil
The results of your visit are available immediately following the scanning process. However, we need to then create a report that will be sent to your doctor. This is usually done within 24 hours.
Urgent results will be communicated directly with your doctor as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us on 8431 8993.
What you can expect
You may need to standing, sitting or lying down dependant on the procedure. The person performing the test places a clear, water-based (low allergy) gel on your skin and then moves a hand-held probe over the area. The gel helps the probe transmit sound waves. These waves bounce off the body structures, to create an image (picture / scan) on the ultrasound machine.
We use state-of-the-art ultrasound machines to obtain images and data about what’s happening in your body. Our vascular surgeons use this data to diagnose your condition and make recommendations for treatment. The images are what the sonographers (ultrasound operator) and vascular surgeons use to review and diagnose any irregularities in your veins and arteries, such as blockages, aneurysms and other signs of disease or malfunction. This data is then stored for future reference. The technique is non-invasive meaning there is no need for needles or surgical incisions and is considered to be very low risk.
Physiological assessments such as ankle and toe pressure indices or exercise testing may be performed which can give valuable information regarding arterial disease.
What are arteries and veins?
Arteries and veins form the bodies circulatory system. It is vital for sustaining life. Arteries are the blood vessels which supply oxygenated blood from the heart while the veins return deoxygenated blood to the lungs for the process to start again. Therefore any pathology or malfunction of our circulatory system can cause symptoms to arise.
Vascular Ultrasound Partners specialise in Doppler ultrasound examinations of blood vessels in the abdomen, pelvis, neck, arms and legs. Using state of the art technology, experienced sonographers and reporting vascular surgeons numerous studies are performed which include;
- Carotid Ultrasound
- The Carotid Arteries on both sides of your neck supply blood to brain. Blockages or narrowing of this artery may increase your risk of stroke. Ultrasound assesses the structure of the artery and the blood flow within the artery. There is no preparation required for this test and the test will take less than 30 minutes to perform.
- Aortoiliac Ultrasound
- Aortoiliac ultrasound is performed to assess for aneurysmal disease (swelling of the artery) or significant fatty plaque buildups that may cause narrowing of the artery. The test will take less than 30 minutes and it is important to FAST from food and fluid 4 hours prior. Small sips of water can be taken for medication.
- Lower limb arterial ultrasound
- Lower limb arterial ultrasound is performed to assess for aneurysmal disease (swelling of the artery) or significant fatty plaque buildups that may cause narrowing of the artery. The narrowing (stenosis) may lead to a symptom called claudication, which is defined as pain or cramping in the lower leg while walking. Test may take up to 1 hour and it is important to FAST 4 hours prior from food and fluid. Small sips of water can be taken for medication.
- Renal Artery Ultrasound
- Assessment of the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys. Narrowing of these arteries may cause high blood pressure or decrease the size and function of the effected kidney. This test may take up to 30 minutes and it is imperative to FAST from fluid, food, smoking and excessive talking for 6 hours prior to the examination. 30 minutes before examination 500mls of water should be drank to increase kidney blood flow.
- Upper Limb Extremity arterial ultrasound
- This test is performed to assess for significant fatty plaque buildups that may cause narrowing of the artery or for thoracic outlet syndrome whereupon certain arm movements may cause closure of the artery. This examination may take 30 minutes and no preparation is required.
- Haemodialysis fistula Ultrasound
- The haemodialysis fistula can be assessed for poor performance or difficulty during dialysis. Other indications for this test are arm swelling or pain. This examination may take up to 30 minutes and no preparation is required.
- Venous Insufficiency studies (Varicose Veins)
- Venous insufficiency study is an assessment of the deep and superficial veins of the leg. Blood should return from the lower limb back to the heart via veins. When valves in the veins become incompetent blood refluxes back towards the lower limb. This increases the blood pressure in veins causing dilatation and skin changes. This assessment should be done in the standing position to maximise the effect of gravity. The examination of both legs may take up to 40 minutes. No preparation is required.
- Post sclerotherapy mapping is performed to ensure the incompetent veins are sclerosed and that other pathways for blood to fill varicose veins have not arisen. The deep veins are also assessed to ensure their patency. This test may take up to 30 minutes and no preparation is required.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis Ultrasound
- This type of ultrasound looks for blockages in the veins caused by blood clots. The test is done lying down and the scan is performed from the groin crease to the calf. The vein is assessed for normal flow patterns and compressed to ensure its patency. The examination of both legs may take up to 30 minutes and no preparation is required.
- Ovarian and Pelvic vein ultrasound
- Varicose veins can occur not only in the legs but also in the pelvis. Dilated veins around the Ovaries can lead to pelvic congestion syndrome or lower limb varicose veins. Assessment is performed externally with the patient lying down and may take up to 30 minutes.
- Upper limb venous studies
- Veins of the arms can be assessed for blood clots, which may cause swelling or pain in the arm and/or hand. The scan is performed from neck through shoulder to forearm and may take up to 30 minutes.
- Pre and post surgical intervention
- Stents and bypass grafts are monitored on ultrasound at set periods to ensure their integrity and patency. In the event a narrowing may start to re-occur the surgeon can be alerted so that early intervention can be considered.
- Aortic stents require fasting 4 hours prior and the test may take up to 30 minutes.
- Stents and bypass grafts of the lower limb do not require fasting and the test may take up to 30 minutes per leg.