Ultrasounds are traditionally associated mostly with pregnant women to see how the baby is coming along, but they actually have a lot of other uses in addition to that. Ultrasounds provide an image of all soft tissues in the body, as opposed to x-rays which only provide images of harder tissue. This means that if you ever have a problem with your veins, muscles or internal organs, there is a good chance you will need an ultrasound as part of your diagnosis. Here are a few reasons that your child might have been prescribed a vascular ultrasound.
Putting In A Needle
Needles are quite frightening for children and that means that doctors and nurses generally want to get it right the first time rather than having to jab the child multiple times. The problem is that finding veins on a small child can be quite difficult, due to the differences in their bodies as compared to adults. A vascular ultrasound may be called on if the nurse or doctor does not feel comfortable with their positioning and wants to make 100% sure they do not irritate the child for no reason. It is very common, particularly in younger children, for this to happen so do not be alarmed.
Checks After Surgery
After any surgery is done on organs, veins or muscles, there are very few ways doctors can check up on the success of the operation without using a vascular ultrasound. This can be done at regular stages after the surgery is complete, starting at a week or so afterwards and continuing until everything is back to normal (normally a few months at most). This is not something you need to be worried about, and it doesn't indicate anything has gone wrong, it is purely for the doctors to know how your child is progressing which, in most cases, is in the right direction!
If your child is showing symptoms of a blood clot, then a vascular ultrasound can help determine the exact location, the size and the severity of the problem. Blood clots are rarer in children than adults, but that does not mean they do not appear with some regularity and it is important to be on the lookout for them if you go on long plane trips. Some children are genetically more predisposed to them as well, so if you had blood clots as a child make sure to be more vigilant with your own children.