Legs ripe for harvest – Part 2

I still have to head back to pick up my venous doppler scans, but the clinic receptionist kindly faxed me the report.  I find it somewhat perplexing that none of these high tech medical centres, including Dr P’s office at Macquarie University Hospital, can email documents to me.  Indeed, I hear horror in their voice when I am even so bold as to suggest such a thing.

Again, it seems to be good news on the blood flow in my leg veins.  There is no clot in the deep vein (deep vein thrombosis) or inflammation and clot in the surface vein (superficial thrombophlebitis).  Rock and roll then.

Report

Bilateral legs doppler venous study

Normal flow and compressibility were demonstrated in the deep and superficial systems of the legs bilaterally.  There was therefore no evidence of DVT or superficial thrombophlebitis.  No other specific finding.

Legs ripe for harvest – Part 1

I was back again for more doppler ultrasounds yesterday, this time on the arteries in my leg.  Again uncomfortable but painless.  This time, he turned up the sound so I could listen to the soothing sound of triphasic arterial flow.

I returned to pick up the images and reports this afternoon.   Unfortunately I didn’t check the envelope until we got home.  It turns out they’d forgotten to include the venous scans and report from last week.  Rookie error by someone who ought to know better.  We were doing a 2-hour mad dash around Bondi Junction – shopping is not AJ’s favourite thing – but my whole experience with this disorganised crowd suggested I should check.  I’ll have to chase them up.

The writer of the report (not my sonographer) is a man of few words, as you’ll see below.  In short, there’s no evidence of narrowing of the artery vessels (stenosis) or thickening of the artery walls (artherosclerosis).

The ultrasound scans also included various readings for the blood flow speed.  Just for fun, I’ve added below the report the averaged readings are for the right leg.  That’s the leg from which Dr A proposes to do the fibula harvest.

Report

Bilateral doppler arterial leg studies

All vessels were demonstrated bilaterally and showed normal triphasic flow throughout.  There was no evidence of stenosis or atherosclerosis.

Right leg artery readings

Rt CFA 92.2 cm/s

Rt PFA -55.5 cm/s

R SFA prox -102.1 cm/s

R SFA mid -120.9 cm/s

R SFA dist -96.7 cm/s

R Pop prox 59.6 cm/s

R Pop dist -109.4 cm/s

Doppler ultrasounds

UPDATE: I was caught out by writing this in the evening and scheduling it to post in the morning.  The second ultrasound was today (Wednesday) and I’ve fixed the post now.

Today I have my second doppler ultrasound.  Last Friday, they looked at the veins in my legs.  This time, they’ll look at the arteries.

Dr Amiable, my plastic and reconstructive surgeon, ordered the doppler ultrasounds.  A little Google tells me the doppler assesses the direction and speed of blood flow.  Doppler is a reference to the Doppler Effect, which is about the change in frequency of sound waves as an object moves towards you, passes you and draws away from you.

Before he harvests my right fibula, Dr A wants to know if it has good blood supply.  He’ll be removing the fibula bone, vein and artery from my right calf and using it as a ‘fibula flap’ to fashion my new jaw.  The genius of the fibula flap is that it brings its own blood supply that’s connected up with micro surgery.  It is less likely to fail and it heals faster, like a fracture rather than a graft.

For the doppler, the sonographer checks blood supply at three points: groin, knee and ankle.  Then he checks how the blood flow in the vein (and tomorrow, the artery) responds to compression.  It’s uncomfortable and makes me squeamish, but it’s painless.

The sonographer will write up a report after today’s appointment.  I’ll need to collect it for my next consultation with Dr A.

Of course, I don’t have another consultation scheduled with Dr A.  But I will, I most surely will.