Vascular Ultrasound (Artery & Vein)

The peripheral or venous ultrasound evaluates the blood flow in the arms and/or legs with the use of ultrasound waves.  This test can detect blood clots or other blockages that might otherwise be asymptomatic.

Blockages in the leg, also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD), are the leading cause of amputation in the nation.


To investigate the cause of the following symptoms in peripheral blood vessels (eg, neck, abdomen, arm, or leg):

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Increased warmth or coolness in the extremity
  • Difficulty finding pulses
  • Bulging veins

To diagnose the cause or severity of:

  • Poor circulation due to blocked or narrowed blood vessels
  • Blood clots
  • Poor blood vessel function
  • No special preparation is needed for this test.


The ultrasound machine has a hand-held instrument called a transducer, which looks like a microphone or wand. The transducer is pushed against your skin where the gel was applied. The transducer sends sound waves into your body. The waves bounce off structures in the body and echo back to the transducer. The echoes are converted to images that are shown on a screen. The doctor examines the images on the screen. He may make a photograph of them as well.

Test will take 30-60 minutes.