Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular Ultrasound Atlanta

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A vascular ultrasound examines the flow of blood through your veins using sound waves. A handheld device known as a transducer is moved over the area of the body to be examined and transmits high-frequency sound waves. A gel is applied to the surface of the skin to help the transducer move quickly over the skin during the examination. As the transducer is moved over the body’s surface, the sound waves bounce back to it and are used by a computer to create an image that can be viewed in real-time on a computer screen. Vascular ultrasounds are non-invasive and safe because they do not require radiation to capture images. The images give an accurate depiction of the movement of blood through the blood vessels in the body’s vascular system.


What are Vascular Ultrasounds Used for?


Vascular ultrasounds can assist in a variety of ways, including:

  • Examining grafting procedures after they are completed to evaluate their success.
  • Looking for aneurysms which occur when arteries are enlarged and can be extremely dangerous, even deadly.
  • Examine varicose veins to provide an evaluation to a specialist.
  • Locate blood clots in any veins of the arms or legs.
  • Identify any abnormalities or blockages of the vascular system.
  • To decide as to whether a patient is suitable for a vascular procedure in surgery.

By taking a close look at the vascular system using vascular ultrasound, a patient can be evaluated to see if they are at risk for vascular disease or a stroke. Patients are often examined by performing vascular ultrasound procedures on the legs and arms to locate any blood clots or assess the brain’s blood flow.


What can you Expect During the Vascular Ultrasound Procedure?


Most patients are asked to lie on their back on a flat surface such as an examination table. For some examinations, blood pressure cuffs will then be placed on the ankles and the arms. The sonographer will inflate the cuffs so that they can take correct blood pressure readings. In doing so, the cuffs will tighten and may become uncomfortable, but that will only be for a short time. Sine examinations do not require blood pressure cuffs, and the sonographer uses the transducer and moves it over the area to be examined.

While the examination is taking place, the sonographer will usually listen to the blood flow through a stethoscope. As the blood moves through vessels, every blood vessel has a different sound. A gel will be applied to the skin in the area to be examined, and as the examination takes place, images will appear on the screen to depict the flow of blood through the vessels. As you are being examined, you might be asked to sit up, lie on your side or move your arms or legs. The sonographer will manipulate your body or ask you to move it to whichever position works best for them to capture the necessary images.

Depending on the complexity of the vascular ultrasound to be performed, the procedure may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

After the procedure has been completed, we will send the images to a radiologist who will examine them and interpret the results before they are forwarded to your primary care physician. If your results produce any concerns, you may receive a phone call from the radiologist directly, or they may send the results directly to your doctor in the form of a comprehensive report. If your results are not urgent, the radiologist will forward the report to your doctor, which will set out the diagnosis. Afterward, you can expect a follow-up call from your doctor to discuss your results directly with you.


What are the Risks in Having a Vascular Ultrasound Procedure?


The vascular ultrasound procedure is entirely safe and non-invasive. An ultrasound exam might occasionally require that the sonographer apply some pressure to understand better the vascular area being examined. This added pressure may be somewhat uncomfortable, but that will not last for long. If veins are pressed and restricted to look for clots, you may experience some discomfort, but that will only be for a short time as each segment of the vein is examined down the leg. 

If you consider a vascular ultrasound, you should speak to your primary care physician to discover what options are open to you. We offer a convenient service because we come to your home and perform our procedures on you in the comfort and privacy of your home. Contact us if you would like to know more about our vascular ultrasound services.

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