Vascular ultrasound is an important diagnostic tool used in the diagnosis and detection of blood vessel disease. Your vascular lab visit will consist of a safe, non-invasive ultrasound exam. Non-invasive means ultrasound procedures do not require the use of needles, dye, radiation or anesthesia. Ultrasound technology uses sound wave frequency to diagnose many medical conditions
The Peripheral Arterial Vascular Exam consists of three parts:
Pulse Volume Recording – blood volume measurements are taken at multiple levels of the legs.
Blood pressure measurements are taken at the same multiple levels of the legs. Blood pressure measurements may be repeated following two to five minutes of walking.
Ultrasound evaluation of the arteries is obtained. A warm gel is applied to the skin overlaying the leg arteries to obtain images and listen for blood flow.
What will I learn? A registered vascular technologist will perform your procedure and an interventional radiologist will interpret your study. An interventional radiologist is a physician who is specially trained to care for patients with vascular disease. The test results will be discussed with you as well as your physician. If significant vascular disease is detected, further testing and treatment may be indicated.
What if additional tests show significant artery blockage? In many cases, the blockages can be opened by small balloons, which are threaded through the arteries (balloon angioplasty). The balloon is inflated and the blockage is opened. Occasionally, a metal stent is used as a support to keep the artery open. A vascular surgeon may need to perform a bypass if the blockage can not be treated by angioplasty or a stent.
On the day of your exam please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment for registration purposes. You should wear or bring comfortable clothing such as loose shorts. Otherwise, you will be given a hospital gown to wear during the exam. Most exams take approximately one hour to complete.