Peripheral Arterial FAQs

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, ultrasound exams do need an appointment. If you cannot attend your appointment we appreciate it if you can give 24 hours notice.

Do I need a referral letter from my GP?

No, you do not need a referral letter for a medical scan. If you come in without a referral letter the report will be emailed to you and you may pass it on to your GP. We do not send reports to a GP if they have not ordered it. If there are urgent findings we will help you arrange a doctor’s visit where you can take the report with you as you may need a referral to a consultant.

What is the preparation for a peripheral arterial scan?

There is no preparation for this exam however trousers will need to be removed for the exam to evaluate the legs.

What organs are viewed in the peripheral arterial scan?

During this examination, we evaluate common femoral, superficial and deep femoral, popliteal, posterior tibial and dorsalis pedis arteries in the right and left leg.

What can a peripheral arterial ultrasound see?

The peripheral arterial ultrasound can identify and measure the amount of plaque and assess the quality of the blood flow in the arteries in the legs.

What happens during the peripheral arterial scan?

The sonographer will have you remove your trousers and lay on the bed facing up. A transducer/camera is placed on the leg starting at the junction of the leg and hip and the sonographer will scan the leg down to the foot on each side. During the exam you may hear a noise like a heartbeat, this is the pulse or arterial blood flow within the legs.

How long will the exam take?

The scheduled time for this exam is usually 45 minutes - 1 hour for both legs.

Who will report my vascular exam?

After the sonographer has completed your exam the images will be sent to a consultant radiologist who will report your scan.

When will I receive my results?

You will get verbal results from the sonographer at the end of the examination however it is up to the radiologist to make a final report. The formal report will be sent to your GP by post which may take up to 5 days. If you are self-referred it may also take up to 5 days for you to receive the formal report by email. If there are urgent findings the process will be expedited and faxed to your GP within 24 hours.