Abdominal Aortic Duplex

What is an Abdominal Aortic Duplex?
An Abdominal Aortic Duplex Study is an ultrasound image of the abdominal aorta, the main artery in the abdomen, as well as the iliac arteries. The abdominal aorta is the large blood vessel which travels from the back of the chest through the abdomen, providing blood to the lower part of the body. It branches out through the pelvis, via iliac arteries, to the legs. In addition to vessel blockage, the study is used to detect any enlargement which is the result of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery caused by a weakening in the vessel wall.

Why is an Abdominal Aortic Duplex done?
An Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound gives doctors information about the artery in the abdomen. Such as:

The blood flow through the artery extending into the pelvis towards the legs. The presence of plaque, a sticky substance that clings to the arterial wall that can cause narrowing within the artery. The presence of an aneurysm, a bulging in the artery. Evaluate previous surgeries including stents and bypass grafts.

What can I expect during the Abdominal Aortic Duplex?
After fasting (nothing to eat or drink, except water) for approximately eight hours, a clear gel will be placed on your abdomen, and the technologist will scan your abdomen with a transducer (a microphone-like device) that will show pictures of the artery and listen to the blood flow within. Feel free to bring a snack for after your test, if necessary.

When will I know the results of the Abdominal Aortic Duplex?
Your doctor will review the findings of the Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound with you on your next office visit. Make sure that you have a follow-up appointment scheduled, as the results of this test cannot be given over the telephone.

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