The Vascular Lab performs ultrasound exams ordered by the physicin in order to aid in diagnosis.

Ultrasound is a type of diagnostic imaging test which uses high frequency sound waves to produce an image of blood vessels and organs within your body.

A registered ultrasound technologist in the office will obtain the necessary images for the physician to interpret and aid in diagnosis.
 

What to Expect During an Ultrasound Procedure

  • Some exams require clothing to be removed, but for most exams it is not necessary.
  • Lay down on back on a bed with turning from side to side as necessary for the exam.
  • A clear water-based gel will be applied on the skin over the area to be examined.
  • A probe called a transducer will then be placed in the gel-covered area.
  • The transducer will be moved around to evaluate the blood vessels and produce images.
  • During the exam, a "wooshing" sound may be heard at times which is to be expected.
  • After completion of the exam, the technologist will prepare the study for interpretation.
Types of Vascular Ultrasound Exams
  • Carotid Duplex:  Ultrasound is used to evaluate the arteries in the neck (carotid arteries) that supply the face and brain with blood.  This exam is ordered if a physical exam or clinical symptoms are suggestive of a blockage (stenosis) of the carotid artery.  The exam takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • Hemodialysis Access Duplex:  Ultrasound is performed to evaluate for complications of the dialysis access which may be either an arteriovenous fistula or arteriovenous graft. The exam takes approximately 45 minutes.
  • Venous Duplex:  Ultrasound is used to evaluate the veins in the upper (arms) and lower (legs) extremities for several different reasons.  The most common reason to perform a venous duplex is to determine the cause of swelling which can be associated with deep vein thrombus or varicose veins.
    • Deep Vein Thrombus (DVT).  Venous duplex is performed to evaluate the veins in the arms or legs to determine if there is a blood clot (DVT).  The exam takes approximately 30-60 minutes.
    • Varicose Veins.  Venous duplex is performed to evaluate the valves in the veins to determine if they close properly.  The exam takes approximately 60 minutes.
    • Vein Mapping.  Venous duplex is performed to evaluate and measure the veins in the arms or legs.  This is performed prior to placement of dialysis access (arteriovenous fistula) or artery bypass surgery.  The exam takes approximately 30-60 minutes.
  • Arterial Duplex:  Ultrasound is used to evaluat the arteries in the upper (arms) or lower (legs) extremities.  This is usually performed in conjunction with ABI's (Ankle Brachial Index).  This exam may be ordered if there is pain in the leg muscles while walking or non-healing ulcers area present on the legs.  An arterial duplex will determine if there is a blockage in the arteries as well as at what level in the arm or leg.  The exam takes approximately 30-60 minutes.
  • Arterial Pressures and Waveforms also known as Ankle Brachial Index (ABI).  Blood pressure cuffs and ultrasound are used to evaluate the arteries in the upper (arms) and lower (legs) extremities.  Blood pressure cuffs are placed on the arms and ankles.  Gel is placed over the area to be evaluated.  A little probe is placed in the gel to obtain waveforms and blood pressures at the various levels.  The exam takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • Abdominal Vascular Duplex:  Ultrasound is used to evaluate the arteries and/or veins that supply blood to the organs in the abdomen and/or pelvis.  This exam requires very minor preparatin in order to be performed adequately.  Please refrain from eating (including chewing gum or breath mints), drinking, and smoking after midnight the night before the abdominal vascular duplex exam.  Several different types of abdominal vascular duplex exams may be ordered including an Aorta Duplex, Iliac Artery or Vein Duplex, Mesenteric Duplex, or Renal Duplex.
    • Aorta Duplex is an ultrasound that is performed to determine the size of the aorta and if an aortic aneurysm is present.  The exam takes approximately 30 minutes.
    • Mesenteric Duplex is an ultrasound that is performed to evaluate the arteries that supply blood to the abdominal organs such as the intestines.  The exam takes approximately 30 minutes.
    • Renal Duplex is an ultrasound that is performed to evaluate the arteries and veins that carry blood to (artery) and from (vein) the kidneys.  The exam takes approximately 60 minutes.
    • Iliac Artery or Vein Duplex is an ultrasound that is used to evaluate the arteries and/or veins in the lower abdomen and pelvis that carry blood to (artery) and from (vein) the legs.  The exam takes approximately 30-60 minutes.





 



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