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Preparing for Vascular Procedures

Preparing for Vascular ProceduresCardiac catheterization labCardiolite stress test
Electrocardiography (Pediatric and Adult)Event recorderHolter monitoring (Pediatric and Adult)
Stress testing (Pediatric and Adult)Thallium stress testTilt table testing
Transesophageal echocardiogram

Some diagnostic procedures require specific advance preparation. Others do not. To achieve the best results from these tests and procedures, it is important to follow carefully these and any other directives from your physician.

Learn more about how to plan for vascular procedures and what to expect on the day of the exam. 

Abdominal Duplex Doppler Exam

How do I prepare for the test?
This procedure requires that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.

  • Do not eat or drink dairy products, raw vegetables or any gas-producing food the day before the exam. Gas pockets affect the quality of the pictures and may result in a delay in or rescheduling of the exam.
  • Exceptions will be made if you are currently taking any medication that cannot be put off until the procedure is completed, or for children under the age of 1.
  • If necessary, take your medications with small sips of water only.
  • Taking in more food or water than needed for medication will cause the normal digestion process to begin and gas pockets to form.

Arterial Doppler Exam

What will happen on the day of the exam?
The arterial Doppler procedure takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

  • Wear 2-piece comfortable clothing.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your procedure to allow time to register in the department. 

Test results are forwarded to your physician within 5 to 7 work days. You may wish to follow up with your physician to discuss your results.

How do I prepare for the test?
There are no special preparations for this test.


Carotid Duplex Imaging

How do I prepare for the exam?
No special preparation is needed for carotid duplex imaging. The test may be performed on an outpatient basis.

  • The procedure takes about 1 hour to complete.
  • Please do not wear turtlenecks or shirts with high collars.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your procedure to allow time to register in the department. 

Venous Duplex Imaging

What will happen on the day of the exam?
The procedure involves the application of gel to the skin and placement of an ultrasound probe over the area to be examined.

Gentle pressure is applied with the probe to detect any presence of clots in the veins. Normally, this does not result in any pain, but you may feel some discomfort.

The test is recorded for physician interpretation and as a permanent record. If there is a clot, the study may be repeated in a few days. Clots in the superficial veins usually stay localized and are less dangerous. But because these veins are connected to the deep venous system, these clots sometimes make their way into the deep veins of the legs. Your medical team wants to see if the clot is progressing through into the deep venous system.

How do I prepare for the exam?
There are no special preparations for the procedure. The test takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

  • Wear 2-piece comfortable clothing.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your procedure to allow time to register in the department.

If your procedure is positive for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), your physician will be called when the exam is over. Written results of the procedure are also provided to your physician within 5 to 7 work days. You may wish to contact your physician to discuss your results.


Photoplethysmography (PPG) Exam

What is a PPG exam?
The photoplethysmography technique is a noninvasive exam that helps physicians examine very small arteries in the legs, such as toe arteries, that may be affected in diabetic persons. PPG uses light to detect the amount of blood flow in the soft tissue of the toes.

Why do I need this test?
If you have diabetes, poor blood flow and loss of feeling to the lower leg increases the risk of foot complications. If untreated, a small cut or bruise can lead to a serious infection. Severe cases can even lead to amputation of the toe, foot, or lower leg. The PPG exam is used to examine the blood pressure in one or more limbs or toes.

What will happen on the day of the exam?
The examination is performed using a PPG sensor and a very small blood pressure cuff around the toe or limb being examined.

How do I prepare for the exam?
No special preparation is needed for the PPG exam.


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