Bypass Graft - Legs Ultrasound

A bypass graft ultrasound views and records the blood flow following a surgical graft procedure (bypassing diseased vessels with man-made material or healthy veins from your arms or legs).

Ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves to "see" inside your body. This procedure uses sound waves to create a color map of the the blood flow to the graft area and can identify blood clots. A clot is a narrowing or blockage of the vessel that can cause pain or limping.

At the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center, we have a specialized team of physicians, nurses and technologists who are experts in ultrasound radiology.

Before Your Exam

An image from a bypass graft ultrasound of the legs showing blood flow in a grafted artery.

  • There is no preparation for this procedure.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass any time you have to wait.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Directions and parking information.

During Your Exam

  • The vascular technologist will explain your exam and answer any questions you may have.
  • Your procedure will be performed with you lying on the examination table on your back with your hands at your sides or on your stomach.
  • The technologist will apply warm gel to your legs.
  • A transducer, a small device similar to a microphone, will be placed over various locations on your legs.
  • You blood pressure will be taken at both your foot and your arm.
  • You will not feel any pain; however you will feel mild pressure from the transducer and blood-pressure cuff.
  • Sound waves will bounce off the muscle tissue in your legs and the blood moving in your arteries and graft. This creates "echoes." The echoes are reflected back to the transducer. A television monitor shows images as the transducer converts the echoes to electronic signals.
  • These images may be viewed immediately or photographed for further study.
  • Additionally, you may hear unusual sounds as the technologist views and records the blood flowing through the veins and arteries in your legs.
  • Your exam will take approximately 30 minutes.

After Your Exam

  • There are no post-exam instructions.
  • Your study will be reviewed by a vascular surgeon and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
  • If you have any problems related to your procedure, please call 310-423-8000.
For more information or to schedule an appointment