Peripheral Artery Ultrasound

A peripheral artery ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the arteries in your arms or legs. A peripheral artery ultrasound helps detect blockages of blood flow (caused by clots or plaque), aneurysms (dilations of a weakened arterial wall), and dissections (a split between the layers of the artery wall). This test can also be used to check the arteries after arterial bypass surgery or placement of a stent.

  1. Pre-procedure Instructions
    Take your normal medications on the day of your exam. Do not use powders, oils, or lotions on your legs on the day of your exam. You will need to remove your pants. A sheet will be provided.
  2. During the Ultrasound
    You will need to lie on your back.  A gel will be applied to each of your legs or arms, and an ultrasound transducer (a small, hand-held wand) will be rubbed on your skin in order to obtain images of your blood vessels. You may be asked to change positions in order to obtain images of each artery.  You should not feel any major discomfort during a peripheral artery ultrasound.  Some slight discomfort is occasionally felt from the pressure of the transducer.  A peripheral artery ultrasound generally takes 50-60 minutes to complete.
  3. Post Procedure
    After your test is complete, you may wipe the gel off and resume your normal activities. Prior to leaving the office, you will be scheduled to receive your results from your physician.