What is it?
It is an ultrasound (high frequency sound wave) assessment of the arteries that supply the circulation to the legs. It is combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow through these arteries.
How is it done?
The patient lays down on the exam table and the sonographer will use a wand (probe) with gel, up and down the skin of each leg. A blood pressure cuff will also be used to record blood pressure at different parts of the legs and arms.
Why is it done?
It is used to assess the structure and flow velocities of blood across the various arteries in the legs (from upper thigh down to the foot) which helps to determine if there is any significant obstruction to the flow of blood.
Such obstructions (partial or complete) can cause pain in the legs (specially while walking), or cause gangrene, or impair wound healing.
It is also done to assess the patency of previous vascular procedures such as angioplasties or bypass surgeries.
The sonographer will perform the test and the results will be interpreted by the physician, which will be discussed at the next follow up appointment.