Abdominal Vascular Ultrasound

An abdominal vascular ultrasound is similar to the leg arterial ultrasound to allow the sonographer to create a map detailing the location and extent of atheroma (plaque formation) or blockage (occlusion) or aneurysmal dilatation, by producing detailed images and blood flow data from the abdominal aorta and its major pelvic branches.
In the case of veins, the map will detail the sites of leaking valves (incompetence) or clot.
This test is commonly performed for the assessment of:

  • exercise-induced leg pain or suspicion of reduced pulses in the lower extremities.
  • to assess the results of balloon angioplasty or stenting of the iliac arteries
  • measure aortic size to check for a developing aortic aneurysm, or carefully follow the size
    and location of a known aneurysm.
  • following EVAR (endovascular aneurysm repair), and sometimes open aneurysm repair.
  • the arteries that branch off the abdominal aorta to supply the kidneys with blood.
  • the arteries that branch off the abdominal aorta to supply blood to the stomach, intestines,
    colon, liver and spleen
  • incompetent (faulty) valves associated with ovarian or pelvic veins.
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

In most cases of an abdominal vascular ultrasound requires you to fast for 6-8 hours . The examination is best performed in the early AM whilst fasting. Intestinal gas in the abdomen after eating is one of the major obstacles the sonographers face when performing this exam. We ask you to refrain from smoking and chewing gum or mints before the examination to facilitate better visualisation.

Diabetics should make the clerical staff aware of their condition at the time of booking, as staff will endeavour to make the appointment early in the morning, if this is possible.
All patients should take their usual oral medications with a small amount of water. Leave jewellery at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to change into a gown.
The test takes about 45 – 60 minutes.