Ultrasounds are safe and effective diagnostic tools that aid in providing detailed images of your internal organs and structures. Vascular ultrasounds use state-of-the-art technology to provide accurate images of your blood vessels, and how well blood flows through them.
Cardiovascular doctor Tomball is an experienced healthcare professional who provides patients with vascular ultrasounds to diagnose blood clots and peripheral artery disease.
Introduction to vascular ultrasound
Vascular ultrasound, also known as duplex study, is a noninvasive test that helps doctors visualize blood vessels and the blood flow within them. This test uses high-frequency sound waves that travel through different tissue layers of your body until they bounce off your internal structures and organs. These sound waves create moving images that are projected on a monitor.
Vascular ultrasound or echocardiography is a standard diagnostic tool for heart problems, that also aid in several treatment procedures. Doctors can assess the health of the veins and arteries transporting blood around the body.
Understanding the way vascular ultrasounds work
The ultrasound machine consists of a hand-held probe called a transducer, and a monitor. The probes eject sound waves that are above the range of human ears. When the sound waves come in contact with your blood vessels, the probe picks up the echoes and translates them into moving images. These images are projected on the monitor.
The Doppler effect is the most useful function of vascular ultrasound. This measures the rate and direction of the blood flow within the blood vessels. When your blood cells move, the sound waves echo in different ways that can be easily captured during the Doppler ultrasound.
Indications of vascular ultrasound
Your healthcare professional may indicate vascular ultrasound to diagnose the following:
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is seen in varicose veins due to poorly working valves in your veins
- Blood clots that lead to aneurysms (swollen parts of an artery)
- Blockages in your arteries or veins that cause narrowing (stenosis) due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis)
- Deep vein thrombosis when blood clots form in the deeper leg veins with a fear of clot dislodgement into the bloodstream
- Peripheral artery disease
- Vascular disease
Vascular ultrasound-what to expect?
Vascular ultrasound is a painless test that does not require any anesthetic or sedative. Your doctor applies a lubricating gel to your skin to intensify the sound waves and ensure the probe slides smoothly. You may just feel slight pleasure while the probes are moved back and forth.
The images projected on the monitor can help determine if there is any problem that may require immediate treatment.
Vascular ultrasounds are safe and effective diagnostic tools that can detect any problems associated with the blood vessels or their blood flow. This helps cardiovascular specialists to design an appropriate treatment plan.