What is a vascular ultrasound?
At Premier Cardiology, we use vascular ultrasound testing to evaluate the arteries or veins across the body, particularly in the neck, abdomen, and legs. Ultrasound uses sound waves delivered from a small handpiece, called a transducer, to generate images of the arteries we are testing.
Ultrasound works by transmitting high-frequency sound waves from the transducer into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then creates an image from those sounds. Ultrasound creates real-time images, so these tests can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through the blood vessels.
Ultrasound is effective for showing soft tissues that do not show up on x-rays.
What can a vascular ultrasound detect?
We use vascular ultrasound to check for plaque buildup in the carotid artery in the neck, to check for abdominal aorta aneurysms, and to check the leg arteries and veins for clotting, blockages, or faulty valves.
These are ways we utilize vascular ultrasound at Premier Cardiology:
- To locate and identify blockages in the arteries
- To locate and identify plaque buildup in the arteries
- To detect blood clots in the major leg veins
- To determine if a patient is a good candidate for a procedure, such as angioplasty
- To look for evidence of an aneurysm, or enlarged artery
- To evaluate the success of bypass procedures
How is vascular ultrasound done?
For most vascular ultrasound tests, you are lying face up or are tilted on an exam table. In some cases, we’ll put you on your side to gain better images, particularly in the abdomen.
Next, we place ultrasound gel on the skin above the area we want to test. This gel ensures the transducer makes secure contact with the body and it eliminates any air pockets that can block the sound waves from passing down into your body. The ultrasound technician then places the transducer on your skin, sweeping it over the area of interest. The transducer can be tilted to angle the sound waves to create a better image. The procedure is painless and completely noninvasive.
Is there anything to do to prepare for a vascular ultrasound?
There isn’t really anything you need to do to prepare. You may need to change into a gown for the test. If you’re having your abdominal area examined you will likely need to fast the night before.
How long does a vascular ultrasound usually take?
These tests usually take from 30-45 minutes.
vascular ultrasound results
These images are in real-time. We will usually record both looped video and still images from the test. In some cases, we will discuss the results with you immediately. In others, we may need to examine the results and will then discuss them with you.
What are the risks involved with vascular ultrasound?
This is a completely painless, noninvasive procedure. There is no radiation involved. Sound waves do not have any harmful effects on humans. These tests provide us with clear images of soft tissues that do not show up particularly well on x-rays.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about a vascular ultrasound, please call 516-437-5600 and schedule a consultation with our physicians at one of our New York offices. You can change your life with a vascular ultrasound and you can take the first step by speaking with us.