What to Expect in the Vascular Lab
Before the Procedure
You will be escorted to the vascular testing area by one of our vascular technologists and asked questions about your vascular symptoms. You may be asked to change clothing and remove jewelry in order for the test to be performed. For certain exams, you will be asked to fast for 4 to 6 hours. It will be important for you not to eat, smoke, or chew gum during this fasting period.
During the Procedure
Once you are ready for the exam you will be asked to lay on an exam table or bed. A clear gel will be placed on the skin at locations where the pulse is expected to be heard. A transducer will then be placed against the skin and moved around over the area of the artery or vein being studied. Ultrasound uses sound waves to provide a picture so you will not experience pain, only slight pressure. During the exam you may hear a “whoosh, whoosh” sound. This sound is your blood flowing through the blood vessel. The transducer will be moved around to compare blood flow in different areas of the artery or vein.
For arterial studies of the legs, blood pressure measurements are taken of your ankles and arms. The staff is careful to never place these cuffs over dialysis access grafts or fistulas. The cuffs will be inflated one at a time to obtain pressure measurements. The technologist will ensure that you are made as comfortable as possible throughout the exam process.
After the Procedure
You may resume your usual diet and activities unless your doctor advises you differently. If you have a physician appointment that day, you will be escorted back to the waiting room, or directly into an exam room.