How to Prepare?
It’s advised that patients wear loose, comfortable clothes for their venous ultrasound exam. It’s possible for the patient to be asked to remove all jewelry and clothing for the examination, and they may be asked to wear a hospital gown. In special cases, particularly if the patient will be having the veins in their abdomen examined, the patient will need to engage in a brief fasting period for six to eight hours before the session, avoiding the ingestion of any food or liquids other than water. Besides that special condition, there’s no additional preparation requirement from a venous ultrasound imaging session.
Typically, most ultrasound scanners will comprise a video display screen, a transducer, and a console holding all computer and electronics equipment. Patients can imagine the transducer as a small portable device that looks somewhat like a microphone. This is attached to the scanner via cord, and sends out high-frequency sound waves (indiscernible to the human ear) into the body, then waits for an echoed response from bodily tissues. The process works similarly to sonar used by submarines and boats. The ultrasound image then becomes immediately visible on the display screen.
How it Works
As a sound wave strikes an object, it produces a response; an echo. By taking a proper measurement of these echoed waves, an observer can determine the distance of an object as well as its shape, size, and consistency. This is the basis on which ultrasound imaging functions. In ultrasound, the transducer produces sound waves and receives them in turn. The technology is so sophisticated, the computer manages to formulate a comprehensive image based solely on the sound traveling within the body!
In most ultrasound examinations, the patient will be lying face-up on an examination table. Based on the specialist’s discretion, the patient might be turned to one side of another in order to achieve the highest quality image possible. The specialist will apply a clear water-based gel to the patient’s bodily area of focus; this is used to make proper, safe contact with the body while eliminating minute air pockets between the skin and the transducer. If left unattended to, these air pockets can potentially block the sound waves being passed into the body. The specialist will then place the transducer over the skin in a variety of locations, angles, and motions, effectively sweeping over the area in question in order to provide the best image possible. The process typically takes between 30 and 45 minutes, though relatively complex examinations might take longer. Once all of the work is complete, the patient will likely be asked to dress while the specialist reviews the ultrasound images.