Vascular Doppler, also known as an arterial ultrasound, uses two techniques to evaluate the blood pressure and blood flow in the arteries in your legs. These techniques are blood pressure measurement using cuffs similar to those used for arm measurements of pressure, and ultrasound (high frequency sound waves).
Essentially, a sonography wand replaces the stethoscope normally used when blood pressure is taken. The process generates pressure measurements and images that show whether there are any blockages in the leg arteries. Blood pressure measured in the legs should be similar to that taken in the arms; if it is lower, it may signal the development of atherosclerotic plaque in your arteries that is interfering with the circulation.
Why is it performed?
Vascular Doppler is performed to detect obstructions in the leg arteries. These obstructions may be causing symptoms, such as leg pain when walking or doing other forms of exercise.\
What is experienced?
The sonographer wraps a blood pressure cuff around the patient’s leg at four or five locations. Then a cool, colorless gel is applied to the top of the foot and to the tip of the sonography wand (transducer). The wand detects blood pulses as the blood pressure cuffs inflate and deflate. The test is totally non-invasive.
Total time for the test is between 45 minutes and an hour.
In cases when leg pressures need to be checked both before and after exercise, the patient is asked to walk on a treadmill for a short time before the pressure measurements are repeated.
None. The patient may leave immediately after the test.