What is a Vascular Ultrasound and Why Do It?

Vascular ultrasound (also referred to as a duplex study) is a noninvasive and remarkably versatile procedure used to examine the circulation in the blood vessels of the body. It can also evaluate arteries or veins in nearly any part of the body.

When we refer to this exam as “noninvasive,” it means no needles or anesthesia are required. And unlike other imaging tests, ultrasound can be performed without radiation or contrast dye (both of which have been linked to kidney damage).

At Alaska Family Sonograms, we are proud to provide advanced and accurate vascular ultrasound in Anchorage.

How vascular ultrasound works

During a vascular ultrasound exam, sound waves penetrate the tissues being analyzed. The sound waves “bounce” off the blood cells as they move within the blood vessels. The sound waves then return to the ultrasound machine, where they’re recorded and displayed on the screen as an image of the blood vessel.

The key factor your doctor is examining is how fast the sound waves return to the ultrasound machine. This allows him or her to calculate the speed of blood flow in the vessel. If it’s moving too fast, this is a sign of narrowing (blockage).

Why vascular ultrasound is performed

Vascular ultrasound is used to evaluate arteries or veins, including blood vessels in the neck, abdomen, arms and legs. It can be performed to:

  • Detect clots in the vein (deep venous thrombosis, or DVT).
  • Confirm chronic venous insufficiency, or leaky valves in the veins that may cause swelling or edema.
  • Evaluate blood flow in the arteries and veins of the body to detect the presence, severity and location of disease.
  • Diagnose the narrowing of arteries and pinpoint how severe the narrowing may be.
  • Evaluate patients after a vascular procedure, such as a bypass or a stent.

Leading edge ultrasound backed by compassion and commitment

At Alaska Family Sonograms, we’re known for providing the highest standard of reliable, accurate vascular ultrasound imaging for a vast range of issues, including examining the kidney arteries and checking for abdominal aortic aneurysms. But if you’ve never visited us, you’ve yet to experience the real difference in our care: Our complete dedication to your unique needs and sensibilities. Paired with our high-tech capabilities, experienced radiologists and precision radiology interpretations, we deliver consistently positive healthcare experiences.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 907-561-3601 or click here to use our online form.

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