What should you expect?
A gel-like substance is applied to your skin and the transducer is then placed on
the area to be examined. The ultrasound transducer is pressed against your arm
or leg to compress the vein which can cause some discomfort. This compression
is necessary to rule out clots in the vein. Pictures are taken during the procedure
along with blood flow measurements. The average Doppler ultrasound exam
takes about 30 minutes.
The pictures made by the returning echoes are displayed on a TV screen, which
are watched by the technologist performing the scan. In addition, returning sound
waves that have been struck by moving blood can be heard by means of
speakers on the sides of the machine. They may sound like water in a washing
machine or the wind gusting. Veins are very compressible. During the exam, the
technologist will apply pressure to confirm compressibility of the vein.