Vascular Ultrasound Imaging Q & A
What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed images of the structures in your body, including blood vessels. Dr. Patel uses ultrasound imaging to diagnose the vascular condition responsible for your symptoms, determine the best treatment, perform a presurgical evaluation, and plan your procedure.
During an ultrasound procedure, a device called a transducer transmits sound waves that safely and painlessly enter your body. As sound waves reach tissues inside your body, they bounce back to the transducer. Then the transducer sends the information to a computer that turns the sound waves into images.
What is Doppler ultrasound?
Doppler ultrasound bounces off blood cells, which produces an image showing the blood flowing through your veins and arteries. Color Doppler converts the information into colors that reveal the direction and speed of your blood flow. Another technique called spectral Doppler shows the distance blood travels in a set amount of time.
What types of vascular ultrasound imaging might I receive?
When diagnosing vascular conditions, Dr. Patel often performs two types of ultrasound:
The goal of venous ultrasound is to evaluate blood flow through your leg veins. Venous ultrasound helps to diagnose blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and chronic venous insufficiency.
An arterial Doppler evaluates blood circulation in your legs or arms, identifying the fatty plaque buildup that causes peripheral artery disease. With an arterial Doppler, Dr. Patel can see if you have a blocked artery and assess the severity of the blockage.
What should I expect during vascular ultrasound imaging?
During most ultrasound imaging, you only need to relax on the exam table. If you have peripheral arterial disease, however, you may be asked to engage in some light exercise, such as walking, so they can get an ultrasound image before and after you use your leg muscles.
The ultrasound technician applies gel to the area being examined and then places the transducer against your skin, moving it around to get the best image.
Though you will feel slight pressure from the transducer and hear the sound as the transducer records blood flowing through the vessel, you will be comfortable throughout your ultrasound.
Vascular ultrasound imaging takes about an hour, or slightly longer if you need to exercise. Since ultrasound is done in real-time, your results are immediately visible on the computer. As soon as your test is finished, Dr. Patel can review the images and talk with you about your diagnosis and treatment options.
If you need vascular ultrasound imaging, call Premier Vascular or book an appointment online.