Inflammation and signs of inflammation
Arm or Leg Swelling
Blood Clot Presence and location
Signs of infection
Signs of Cancer
1. What is a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) ultrasound scan?
A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) ultrasound scan is an examination which checks for blood clots including
the condition and location of a clot.
DVT is the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the body, usually in one of the legs. A blood clot in an artery or vein which restricts blood flow is called a thrombus*. DVT is a serious blood clot in a deep vein and can be life threatening.
* A thrombus is often made up of proteins and platelets (one of the three major types of blood cells). They assist in the control of bleeding and help your blood clot.
2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Causes, symptoms and when to see a doctor
There are several reasons for a DVT. Sometimes clots form spontaneously, but they can also be caused by certain conditions including:
– Family history
– Previous cases of DVT
– Surgery and trauma
– Injury to the vein
– Inflammation of the walls of the vein
– Acute Illnesses
– Blood Disorders
Symptoms can occur in your legs or arms and include:
– Swelling, pain, throbbing or cramping in a lower leg (rarely both)
– A warm feeling in and around the affected area
– Discolouration or redness of the skin located near the clot
– Swollen veins which are sore or hard when you touch
When to see a doctor
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, especially alongside any of the causes listed above please consult a doctor as soon as possible. DVT is a serious blood clot in a deep vein and can be life threatening.
3. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Reasons for an ultrasound scan
An ultrasound is a commonly used medical examination to check for the presence of blood clots in the
body. It is safe, pain free and reliable with immediate results.
4. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): What happens at my appointment?
The Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) ultrasound scan is a pain free examination. Your appointment will last for approximately 30-45 minutes. Here is what happens at your appointment:
1. Once you arrive, you’ll be asked asked to change in to a medical gown (if required) and remove any clothing from the area of examination (arm or leg) as well as jewellery, accessories and other objects which may interfere with the ultrasound scan.
2. You’ll be required to rest the area of examination (arm or leg) at a comfortable position and angle which enables smooth movement of the scanning device (for example, DVT can be suspected behind the knee). Your doctor will then apply a water based gel to the area. The gel works alongside a handheld scanning device to create images by helping sound waves pass through the body more efficiently.
3. To begin the examination, a handheld scanning device* will be placed on the area of examination – either your arm (from the neck towards the hands) or leg (from your groin downwards), moving back and forth whilst applying gentle pressure in order to get clear images which will be visible in real-time on a display screen for your doctor. The procedure does not cause any discomfort. * The ultrasound transducer head which sends high frequency sound waves into the body and picks up responding signals.
4. Once your doctor is satisfied with the quantity and quality of images, you’ll be given tissue to wipe the gel off, you can then get dressed.
5. Your doctor will discuss the results of the scan with you and will be able to tell you if you have a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
A specialist consultant radiologist will review and assess your scan results and provide a comprehensive medical report for you and your doctor.
Following the examination the images are processed and reviewed by a Consultant Radiologist who will provide your doctor with a report. We endeavour to give both you and your GP access to your results on the same day of your scan. You can expect the scan to last between 20-30 minutes. Please give yourself plenty of time for your appointment.
As the scan is non-invasive and non-surgical there is no aftercare or recovery requirements so you can go home immediately after your appointment.