How is the procedure performed?
Intravascular ultrasound is done in the catheterization lab, also called the cath lab, usually in conjuction with angiography or angioplasty.
This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis. However, some patients may require admission following the procedure. Please consult with your physician as to wether or not you will be admitted.
You will be positioned on the examining table.
You may be connected to monitors that track your heart rate, blood pressure and pulse during the procedure.
A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into your hand or arm so that sedative medication can be given intravenously. Moderate sedation may be used. As an alternative, you may receive general anesthesia.
The area of your body where the catheter is to be inserted will be sterilized and covered with a surgical drape.
Your physician will numb the area with a local anesthetic.
A very small skin incisions made at the site.
A sheath is first inserted into an artery (usually in the groin) or vein. Using x-ray or ultrasound guidance, the catheter is inserted into the sheath and gently maneuvered through the vessel to the target location. Once in place, the transducer on the end of the catheter uses sound waves to produce pictures of the blood vessels. Doctor can move the catheter to get pictures of the inside of the vessels at the different locations.
At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding. The opening in the skin is then covered with a dressing. No sutures are needed.