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Understanding the Different Types of Vascular Ultrasound

Specialists use vascular ultrasound to evaluate blood flow through your arteries and veins. And if you’re not a fan of needles, excess radiation exposure, or long hours of recovery after a test, it could be the perfect diagnostic study for your needs.

Vascular surgeon Dr. Nirav Patel and our team at Premier Vascular in Yonkers and Jackson Heights, New York, often recommend a vascular ultrasound to diagnose and effectively treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD), venous insufficiency, and other conditions that compromise your circulatory health.

Read the facts about this painless, noninvasive study and its many benefits.

Why would I need a vascular ultrasound?
The circulatory system includes a vast network of arteries and capillaries that provide your heart, legs, arms, abdominal organs, brain, and other tissues with nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood. Capillaries and veins carry blood back to the heart and lungs for refueling, while the lymph vessels move excess fluids and wastes away from your tissues and eventually out of the body.

Your body relies on the circulatory system to maintain good health. A vascular ultrasound helps identify problems with blood flow through your veins or arteries that increase your risk factors for:

Heart disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
Chronic venous insufficiency
Pulmonary embolism
Deep venous thrombosis (DVT)
Chronic wounds
Worsening varicose veins
Persistent swelling in the ankles and legs
Cramping pain (claudication) in your leg muscles with activity
Dr. Patel may also recommend a vascular ultrasound to gauge the effectiveness of previous treatments, such as angioplasty and stenting, to improve blood flow through arteries supplying your legs.

What types of vascular ultrasound are available?
All vascular ultrasounds use soundwave technology to capture computer-generated images of your veins and arteries. In addition, most vascular ultrasounds include a Doppler technique that calculates the direction and speed of blood cells moving through the targeted vessels. This helps identify blood clots, aneurysms, clot formation, and other areas of abnormal blood flow that can affect your health.

The areas targeted during a vascular ultrasound vary according to your symptoms. Dr. Patel may, for instance, recommend a venous ultrasound to assess the health of leg veins carrying blood back to your heart.

Conditions linked to your vein health include varicose veins, blood clots, lower extremity swelling, and open ulcerations (venous ulcers) that increase your risk of infection and even limb amputation.

A vascular ultrasound focused on the arteries supplying blood to your legs, kidneys, or brain can help determine your need for angioplasty to clear plaque buildup.

What happens during a vascular ultrasound?
Vascular ultrasounds are painless diagnostic studies performed here at Premier Vascular for your convenience, and usually take about an hour. As you relax on the exam table, an ultrasound technician firmly presses a handheld device called a transducer over the area under study.

The transducer emits inaudible soundwaves that echo off fluids and tissues. The device captures and transmits these echoes to a nearby computer that interprets and displays them as images on a monitor. Dr. Patel then creates a treatment strategy based on the ultrasound findings.

Schedule your evaluation today to learn more about vascular ultrasound or any service we offer at Premier Vascular. Call our office or request an appointment online.

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