Lower Limb Ultrasounds
Valuable diagnostics for three specific areas of Lower Limbs
Diagnostic Ultrasound is the first course of action to examine lower extremities (legs below the knee), particularly in cases of suspected Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). It is a non invasive procedure to see and evaluate both the superficial and deep venous systems, particularly to look for venous thrombosis and venous insufficiency.
Arterial: To examine presence of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD or PVD for Peripheral Vascular Disease) where large arteries are obstructed, a diagnostic ultrasound is essential, along with a patient Exercise Study (see further) to assess the value of blockage.
Exercise Study: Requires walking on a treadmill for a period of up to 20 minutes here at the South Sydney Vascular Centre. Pressure measurements are checked before and after exercise to assess ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI or ABI) relating to blood pressure and flow.
Venous: Ultrasound is used to assess varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) superficial thrombophlebitis and swollen legs.
Doppler Ultrasound Examination for Lower Limb
A hand-held Doppler probe provides a simple method for assessing the competence of veins in the lower limb. With the patient standing the Doppler probe is applied over the vein in question. Compression of the calf propels the blood up the leg and this can be heard with a Doppler probe. The calf is then released and if the valves are incompetent a reverse flow phase can be heard.