Before the Test

  • Please do not bring valuables such as jewelry and credit cards.
  • Do not smoke or participate in strenuous activities for 24 hours before the test.
  • You may take your usual medications.
  • There are no special dietary guidelines; you may eat and drink as you normally would.
  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove all jewelry.

During the Test

  • Your vascular test is performed by specially trained technologists and interpreted by a vascular medicine physician.
  • You will lie on a padded examining table during the test. You may walk on a treadmill for part of the test, depending on the type of test that has been ordered.
  • Several blood pressure cuffs are placed on various parts of your arms and legs, depending on the area being examined.
  • A small amount of water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes.
  • The blood pressure cuffs are inflated, while a small device called a transducer or Doppler is held in place on the skin’s surface until the blood flow information has been recorded.
  • The Doppler transmits sound waves through the tissues of the area being examined. These sound waves reflect off blood cells moving within the blood vessels, allowing the reading physician to calculate their speed. The sound waves are recorded and displayed on a computer screen.
  • You may experience mild discomfort while the blood pressure cuffs are inflated.

After the Test

The gel will be wiped off your skin. You may go home or to your other scheduled appointments after the test. There are no activity restrictions after the test.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/20/2019.

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