Vascular Ultrasound

A vascular ultrasound, also called a duplex or Doppler scan, is a medical test that uses sound waves to examine the blood vessels of the body.

Vascular ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive scan that is able to provide detailed, real time information without the use of radiation.

Preparation for a vascular ultrasound will vary depending on the region of the body to be examined. Many scans do not require any preparation however please see below an example of why specific preparation is required for certain body regions.

If your scan involves imaging of the vessels within the abdomen, you will be required to fast. The purpose of this is to reduce the amount of gas within the abdominal cavity caused by digestion. Fasting for this scan is essential as sound waves cannot infiltrate gas or air.

[Please note: For arterial scans of the leg, the Sonographer may also need to scan the arteries within the abdomen that supply the legs and therefore fasting will be required]

It is essential that your preparation needs are considered in conjunction with existing medical conditions such as diabetes or heart failure.   If either of these conditions apply to you, or if you have any other concerns, please advise our Customer Service Team who will be able to provide you with personalised preparation information for your appointment.

You will need to bring your referral and any previous x-rays or scans with you to your appointment.

The Sonographer will begin by asking you some questions regarding your medical history and current symptoms. Once this information has been obtained, the Sonographer will explain the scan and what is involved.

The region you are having assessed will determine how you will be positioned for the examination.

A saline-based gel is applied to the skin and an ultrasound transducer (camera) is used to generate images of your blood vessels. The sound waves emitted by the transducer are also able to detect the movement of blood cells within the vessel (The Doppler Effect).

Throughout the procedure, you will hear a range of sounds as the Sonographer assesses the velocity and direction of blood flow within the vessels whilst taking a series of still images. Minor pressure may be applied with the transducer to obtain adequate views of the arteries and veins.

The length of the test will depend on the region being assessed. For example, a scan of the neck arteries (carotids) or a DVT scan will take approximately 30 minutes. More complex scans, such as leg arteries or varicose vein mapping studies may take up to 90 minutes to complete.

There is no radiation dose associated with ultrasound.

Ultrasound does not have any known risks, side effects or complications and is considered very safe.

The cost of the scan depends on a number of factors, including the type of scan that your doctor has requested and whether you have a Government issued concession card. Please advise our friendly Customer Service Team if you are a pension or health care card holder.

If your doctor has requested more than one ultrasound, it may be necessary for these to be booked on separate days due to Medicare or different preparation requirements.

Our Customer Service Team will be able to advise you of all costs involved with your ultrasound including any out of pocket cost (if relevant).

The vascular ultrasound images obtained are digitally recorded.  At Qscan, a subspecialty trained Radiologist interprets the images and provides a report for your doctor within 24 hours.

Reports and images will be available electronically via the Qscan MyResults Patient Access app and web portal 7 days after your report has been processed.  If required, films are available for collection or delivery to your referring practitioner.  You will need an appointment with your doctor to discuss these results.

Please discuss which Qscan Clinic location is best suited for your appointment at the time of booking.

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