Ultrasound imaging of the body's veins and arteries or vascular ultrasound, can help early identification of clots in veins and plaque in arteries.
Ultrasound images may be used to plan or review the success of bypass procedures for blocked blood vessels such as renal (relating to the kidney) artery bypass.
Ultrasound imaging of the veins may reveal blood clots that require treatment, such as anticoagulant therapy (blood thinner), or filters to prevent clots from traveling to the lungs (embolism).
When is a Vascular Ultrasound used?
Ultrasound imaging of the vascular system also provides a fast, noninvasive means of identifying blockages of blood flow in the neck arteries to the brain that might produce a stroke or mini-stroke.
What happens during a Vascular Ultrasound procedure?
For most ultrasound exams, you will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved.
Patients may be turned to either side to improve the quality of the images.
A clear water-based gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body.
The sonographer (ultrasound technologist) or radiologist then places the transducer on the skin in various locations, sweeping over the area of interest or angling the sound beam from a different location to better see an area of concern.
When the examination is complete, you may be asked to dress and wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed.
This ultrasound examination is usually completed within 30 to 45 minutes. Occasionally, complex examinations may take longer. What are the benefits?
Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images.
Most ultrasound scanning is noninvasive (no needles or injections).
Occasionally, an ultrasound exam may be temporarily uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.
Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods.
Ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use any ionizing radiation.
What are the risks?
For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans.
Make sure you are prepared.
Most vascular ultrasound exams do not require any prep.
For more details on your specific exam or if you have ANY questions, please call our scheduling department at 478-743-1458.