Vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive method used to evaluate the blood circulation of vessels in the body. It can be used to examine arteries and veins in nearly every part of the body, and more importantly helps detect blockages, such as blood clots. A Doppler ultrasound study is usually part of this procedure. This ultrasound evaluates specific blood flow through a blood vessel. Vascular ultrasound uses no radiation exposure, therefore having no harmful effects. It requires little to no special preparation and ultimately provides images of soft tissues that don’t show up on x-ray images.
The procedure involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin to create high-frequency sound waves that will be used to create an image that shows up on the computer screen. The images are captured in real-time, thus giving the most accurate depiction of the movement of the body’s organs and blood vessels. Generally, this procedure takes between 30-45 minutes.
Some common uses for this type of procedure:
- Identify blockages (stenosis) and abnormalities
- Detect blood clots
- Evaluate varicose veins
- Determine where a patient is a good candidate for other procedures
- Evaluate the success of other procedures
- Help monitor blood flow to organs and tissues