Ultrasound of the blood vessels and veins of the lower extremities (legs)
Vascular ultrasound of the lower extremities, and if necessary top is with the purpose of studying blood flow in arteries and veins. It is possible to assess how we pass the analyzed vessel diameter, lumen narrowing, etc. unlike x-ray angiography image of the arterial and venous structures when ultrasound method is non-invasive (without damaging the skin) and without the introduction of contrast agents.
It should be said that the advantages of vascular ultrasound of legs is the safety for the patient, because there is no radiation exposure. Therefore, it can be done often (if necessary), to execute pregnant women and children.
Indications for performing ultrasound scanning of the legs
Sonography is performed for suspected changes in arterial or venous circulation caused by varicose veins, trophic disorders or atherosclerotic process.
Along with this, ultrasound of lower extremities vessels, if necessary the top can be done prophylactically (as a screening). So as soon as possible to diagnose the pathology of the vascular bed, especially in individuals with this predisposition (persons with the following occupations: truck drivers, surgeons, athletes).
Ultrasound examination of veins and arteries has no contraindications (almost). The only UZI veins of the lower, if necessary, upper extremities, it will be difficult to make the patient, are in critical condition, so in this case, not done.
Ultrasound of the veins of the lower limbs allows you to visualize the vessels of different diameters, it is possible to identify the following symptoms of varicose veins:
- the cause of the disease;
- the severity of pathological changes;
- the failure of venous valves;
- thrombotic changes (the size of the clot, structure, flotation).
Along with this, ultrasound of lower extremities vessels, in some cases, is carried out with the purpose of studying the arteries. It is possible to identify the following arterial pathology:
- atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries;
- changes of the arteries caused by blood clots;
- disorders of blood flow;
- the presence of artery stenosis, the degree of it;
- aneurysms of the arteries.
It should be noted that ultrasound of vessels of lower extremities is an integral method that can identify pathological changes, leading to circulatory disorders. I should add that modern vascular surgery cannot exist without this study.
Preparing the patient for ultrasonic scanning
I should say that the preparation for this examination is not required (limitations of the medication do not stop). Not recommended the day of the test make stimulating beverages: tea, coffee; should not smoke for several hours prior to the procedure.
Just before diagnostic procedures you should not use ointments, as well as be subjected to physical loads.
How is ultrasound scanning of vessels
So, before beginning this procedure, patients need to remove clothing from the study area (also compression). Before the manipulation, the doctor queries the patient about the complaints, the presence and duration of disease.
Need to add that the survey is usually carried out in a horizontal position (lying) of the patient on the couch, when necessary, standing up. Before the examination the patient’s skin is applied a special gel that promotes more close contact of the skin of the subject and the ultrasonic sensor.
Study usually do over: thirty–thirty five minutes. Immediately after the examination, the doctor interpreterpath the obtained results and gives a conclusion.
It should be noted that patients may experience numbness of the foot. This may be due to impaired blood supply to the legs. Therefore, with the aim of identifying the causes of pathological disorders, of course, should be an ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities.
The state of deep veins, the speed and direction of blood flow in them, shows ultrasound of the veins of the lower (if necessary also the upper extremities).
The advantages of ULTRASOUND scanning
So, the positive aspects of this radiation method include:
- non-invasive (without damaging the surface of the skin, without injections);
- easy survey;
- the relative cheapness (compared to Mr angiography, x-ray angiography);
- the lack of ionizing radiation;
- the study is doing in real time;
- you can do a biopsy (the detection of pathological formations);
- good visualization of the soft tissues (compared with x-ray angiography).
Disadvantages of ultrasound scanning
We can say that the vascular examination of the extremities (upper and lower) has the following negative points:
- not only ultrasound for diagnosis;
- it is not always possible to assess the condition of arteries and veins of small caliber;
- the presence of atherosclerotic plaques prevents the passage of ULTRASONIC waves;
- can not replace angiography (including CT or MRI);
- if the study do the old apparatus, the diagnostic value of the method is low.
I should say that the doctors ultrasound diagnostics is recommended to periodically survey vessels: arteries, veins patients with predisposition to diseases (professional hazard: hairdressers, taxi drivers, overweight, Smoking). This will help to reduce the risk of diseases is lower, and in some cases the upper extremities.
Thus, ULTRASONIC scanning for the detection of vascular disease of the legs is done to detect disorders of blood circulation. Preparing the patient for this study is not required. Given the need for a comprehensive diagnosis of vascular disease, ultrasound examination make, combining with other radiological and functional methods. Attention! Specialist of ultrasound diagnostics does not make the diagnosis.