An arterial ultrasound uses sound waves to visualize the artery, measuring the direction and speed of blood cells as they flow through the arteries and veins. This noninvasive technique determines whether a specific artery is open or blocked and may identify the cause of pain, discomfort, sores, or color changes in the legs or feet. It may also help determine the level and degree of Peripheral Arterial Disease.
A venous ultrasound utilizes the same noninvasive technique to search for blockages in the veins of the legs. These blockages are frequently caused by blood clots, which can become dangerous and life-threatening if they break loose and travel to the lungs. The ultrasound may also identify the cause of swelling, redness, pain, or cramping in the legs while walking or resting. Ultrasounds are generally an hour in length and do not require any preparation.