3 Signs You May Need an Ultrasound for Your Arteries and Veins

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
March 25, 2021

What Is a Lower Extremity Ultrasound? 

Our doctors and providers at South Valley Vascular order ultrasounds to examine the arteries and veins in the legs. A vein ultrasound produces an image of the veins in the body. With this technology, we look for abnormalities such as tangled veins, blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis, and more. 

There are several warning signs that you may be suffering from one of these conditions. Pain, discomfort, and discoloration are just a few of the symptoms that can occur. Receiving an artery ultrasound early can make a difference in recovery time and the effectiveness in treatment. 

What Are the Different Types of Lower Extremity (Leg) Ultrasounds? 

There are two types of ultrasounds: Standing Venous Reflux Ultrasound and Lower Extremity Arterial Duplex Ultrasound. A small probe called a transducer is used to channel high-frequency waves through the body. The probe then collects the sound that bounces back and creates an image.

  • Standing Venous Reflux Ultrasounds are performed on patients with varicose veins. During the ultrasound study, a technologist will use special techniques to view     abnormal valves.
  • Lower Extremity Arterial Duplex Ultrasounds are performed on patients with Peripheral Artery Disease, which causes a lack of blood flow to the legs and feet. These are ultrasounds for arteries, and allow doctors to check for defects.

What Signs Should I Watch Out for? 

There are many types of vein disorders. However, blood clots and varicose veins are the most common. Varicose veins are twisted or enlarged veins. Varicose veins most commonly affect the legs because standing and walking increase pressure in the veins of your lower body. Most times, when a vein becomes varicose, it is more of a cosmetic concern. Other times, these vein scan cause great discomfort and pain. 

Blood clots or deep vein thrombosis can be just as problematic. To prevent blood loss, our blood clots. There are times when our blood pools into a semisolid form and can cut off blood flow. This can become a medical emergency if the clot breaks loose and travels through the veins and cuts off blood flow to the heart. 

If you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of these conditions, here are some signs to look out for: 

  • Pain: Pain and discomfort are both good signs that something might be wrong. Many who experience vein disorders experience varying levels of pain. Some symptoms may include a dull achiness or heavy feeling in your legs, swelling in your legs, a burning, throbbing, or cramping feeling, itching around the affected area, pain sitting or standing for a long time, or standing pain in your calf muscle.
  • Discoloration: The skin around the affected area may change color because of inflammation. As blood pools under the skin, the breakdown of red blood cells causes the skin to change to a bluish or brownish color. Your skin may also appear thin and dry, and you may want to scratch it. This is not recommended. If left untreated, infections and ulcers can occur.
  • Warmth: Weak blood flow can cause the veins to leak into the surrounding tissue. This can cause pain and discomfort in the form of a burning or itching sensation. Common causes for this are sitting and standing for long periods, obesity, and pregnancy. 

Our board-certified vascular surgeons are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the vascular system. We have served the South Valley for over 10 years and offer patient-centered care and personalized treatments to improve your quality of life. Our three offices are available to serve you in Visalia, Porterville, and Hanford, California. Contact us here for more information. You may also use the numbers listed below: 

● Visalia (559)625-4118 

● Hanford (559)825-6204 

● Porterville (559)788-1022 

● Tulare (559)625-4118 

● Fresno (559)746-9605