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What to expect if you have a test scheduled with us

1. Of special interest, all tests are begun with a thorough explanation of what we do and why. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask during the testing. QVI staff will take a history from you trying to determine the reason your physician sent you to us. While you come to us for a specific reason, unless we fully understand your symptoms, we are less likely to provide all the necessary information to your doctor to best manage your care. You will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire.

2. The vascular technologist will then perform a physical exam.  As vascular specialists, we are specially trained to check for physical findings that may indicate a vascular problem.  This varies depending upon the reasons your physician sent you and may include feeling pulses, taking blood pressures, listening for sounds with a stethoscope, and observing the skin and digits for signs of diminished blood flow. 

3. You will typically asked to lie on an examination table and the examination is performed.  This may take anywhere between 15" and 1 1/2 hours depending upon the part of the body we are examining. (For example, it takes longer to evaluate both legs that it does to look at the carotid arteries.)  The time may also depend upon the complexity of your particular anatomy and what we find - but don't assume that because it takes a while, there is something wrong!

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound or sonography is the practice of sending of sound waves through the body. When the waves strike the internal structures, some of the energy is reflected back to the surface and some continues on and strikes deeper structures. The reflected sound waves are detected by the instrument and used to create an image of anatomic parts. No ionizing radiation (x-ray) is involved in ultrasound imaging.

How does the procedure work?

Ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles involved in many familiar devices, such as a depth sounder used by fisherman. The sound wave is focused and is directed towards objects, and the reflected waves can be used to determine how far away the structure is, its size, shape and its internal consistency (fluid, solid or mixed). Importantly, for vascular purposes, a special processing of the sound waves called Doppler, can be used to evaluate moving things, such as its direction, speed, and character. This is very similar to sonar used by bats, who are the undeniable masters at this technique. Ultrasound transducer 

The ultrasound transducer  functions as both a loudspeaker (to create the sounds) and a microphone (to record them). When the transducer is pressed against the skin, it directs a stream of inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body. As the sound waves echo from the body's fluids and tissues, the sensitive microphone in the transducer records tiny changes in the sound's pitch and direction. These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on the monitor. The live images of the examination can be recorded on videotape. In addition, still frames of the moving picture are usually "frozen" to capture a series of images. Blood flow changes the pitch of the sound beam; this Doppler effect can be heard or detected on the image as color or displayed graphically. Often, the patient is able to see it as well. Blood flow also produces sound that can be heard with Doppler ultrasound. You may also hear the sounds.

How is the procedure performed?

The patient is positioned on an examination table. A clear gel is applied to the area that will be examined. The gel helps the  transducer make a secure contact and eliminates air pockets between the transducer and the skin, since the sound waves cannot penetrate air. The vascular  technologist then presses the transducer firmly against the skin and sweeps along the area of interest, reviewing the images on the monitor and capturing "snapshots" as required.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. Depending upon the part of the body being examined, some disrobing may be necessary. For many of the examinations, there is no preparation required. If your abdominal vessels are being studied, you will need to fast before the procedure in order to minimize the presence of gas in the intestine as well as motion. You will be told if your testing requires fasting, usually when the exam is scheduled. If you need to fast, please do not eat after midnight prior to the test and it is helpful to avoid gassy foods the day prior to the exam. You may drink water and take your medicines and in fact, drinking plenty of water is often useful in minimizing bowel gas. If you are diabetic and need to eat, a light breakfast is acceptable. If you have any questions, please give us a call.  

 What will I experience during the procedure?

Most ultrasound studies are fast and easy usually taking less than 30". However depending upon the body part being evaluated and any disease that may be present, testing could run an hour or more. Do not assume that there is any problem if your exam takes longer.

How do I get the results?

Because your personal physician knows your entire history, they are best suited to discuss the results with you and specifically what they mean to you. After the testing is completed and you are released, the vascular technologist's work is only half finished. They will then sort through all the images obtained during your exam. A large number of additional measurements are obtained and organized into a report format. This report, the images, and other data is then reviewed by your physician or one designated by them. QVI has a panel of qualified physicians from which to chose. This final report is forwarded to your personal physician who is best suited to explain what the findings mean to you. This typically happens within 1-2 days.

If there are any urgent findings, we will call your physician immediately. 

 

 

 

Locations

 

Venice

4120 Woodmere Park Blvd

   Suite 8B 

Venice, Fl 34293

(941) 408-8855

(941) 408-8955 Fax

 

Sun City Center 

1647 Sun City Center Plaza

Suite 201

Sun City Center, Fl  33573

(813)642-8353

(813) 642-8369 Fax

   

 

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