Diagnostics & Testing

Vascular Ultrasound

What is ultrasonography?

Ultrasonography (ultrasound) uses high-frequency sound waves. The sound waves are sent into the body with a special wand (transducer), and echoes from the sound waves create pictures and/or a video.

The idea for the technology came from sonar technology, which uses sound waves to find underwater objects.

Ultrasound is used in many areas of medicine. It can help diagnosis various medical problems and show blockages in your blood vessels (arteries and veins).

The test can be used alone or with other tests to help your doctor understand your medical condition.

What is a vascular ultrasound?

Vascular ultrasound is also called a duplex study. It is used to check blood flow in the arms and legs.

As sound waves bounce off blood cells moving in the blood vessels, their speed is tracked. This information is used to help determine if there is a narrowing (blockage) in a blood vessel.

The test is noninvasive. It also does not use needles, dye, radiation or anesthesia.

Why do I need this test?

Your doctor would like you to have a vascular ultrasound to check the blood flow to specific organs in your body.

Vascular ultrasound can check:

  • Blood flow in the arteries in your neck that send blood to your brain
  • Blood flow to a newly transplanted organ
  • Blood flow in the arteries and veins in the body to see if there is a narrow area/disease, exactly where it is, and how severe it is

How long is the test?

The ultrasound can take 30 to 90 minutes. Please check-in 15 minutes before your appointment so we can complete your registration.

Before the test

  • Do not bring valuables, such as jewelry and credit cards, to the hospital
  • You may need to fast (not eat) or drink anything starting at midnight before your test. If you need to take medication, take it with small sips of water
  • You will change into a hospital gown for the test

During the test

  • A specially trained technologist will perform the ultrasound. A vascular doctor will read the results.
  • You will lie on a padded exam table during the test.
  • A small amount of water-soluble gel will be applied to the skin. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes.
  • The technologist will move the transducer over your skin, stopping at times to get images. You may feel some pressure and minor discomfort as this is done.
  • You may hear noise as the technologist listens to the blood flow and records measurements.

After the test

The gel will be wiped off your skin. We will let you know if there are any special instructions to follow. The technologist will let you know if you can go home or to other appointments that day.

Are there any risks or side effects?

There are no known harmful side effects of the vascular ultrasound test.

How do I get my test results?

Your doctor will get your test results and share them with you.

We’re here to make managing your healthcare easier.

800 8 2223 Request an Appointment

Our Doctors

Meet all the doctors from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

View Doctors

Patient Stories

Listen to the inspiring stories from our patients.

Learn More

Insurance Partners

We partner with many insurance companies offering coverage for your care.

Explore More