Date issued: July 2019
For review: July 2021
Ref: B-434/AE/Vascular/Ultrasound and Doppler scans
What is an Ultrasound or Doppler scan?
Ultrasound scans use very high frequency sound waves to build up pictures of inside the body. It is most commonly known as the type of scan used to look at unborn babies. It does not use any form of radiation and is considered completely safe. Doppler is a form of ultrasound scan in which blood flow is detected; during a Doppler ultrasound scan you will frequently hear your pulse.
How do I prepare for the test?
There is no specific preparation for this test. It is helpful if no jewellery is worn on the area to be scanned. Clothing may need to be removed from the area to be scanned but with some scans this is not necessary as long as the clothing is loose fitting.
What does the test involve?
A Vascular Scientist will perform and report the scan. You will usually be asked to lie down on a couch. Some ultrasound gel will be placed on the area to be scanned and a probe will be passed over the surface of the skin. It is sometimes necessary to press firmly and this may be mildly uncomfortable. The scan usually takes between 15 and 45 minutes to complete, depending on the area to be scanned. There are no side effects and you can leave the department as soon as the scan is complete. There is no need to be accompanied to this scan but someone can come with you if you wish.
What happens next?
The Vascular Scientist will write a report on the scan results and send it to the doctor who requested the scan. The Vascular Scientist can comment on the scan findings with you but you will be able to discuss the results more fully with your Doctor at your next outpatient appointment.
Any further questions?
Please phone the Vascular Assessment Unit on 01752 439228 if you have any questions that you want answered before attending for the scan or if there is anything that you think we should know about before your scan. The Vascular Scientist who does your scan will also be happy to answer any further questions that you have.