What an Ultrasound Can Tell About the Condition of Your Veins

What an Ultrasound Can Tell About the Condition of Your Veins

A vascular ultrasound is a non-invasive method used to study blood flow to your arms and legs. It doesn’t require the use of anesthesia, radiation, needles, or dyes. 

In La Mesa, California, the vein experts at Vascular Associates of San Diego perform ultrasound evaluations to detect vascular disease painlessly and safely. Our lab is one of only a few in San Diego County that’s earned accreditation through the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL). By being accredited, our state-of-the-art lab provides exceptional patient care and produces the highest-quality results. 

What is an ultrasound?

Images obtained by ultrasound are helpful in diagnosing a wide range of diseases and conditions. Initially, ultrasonography was inspired by sonar technology, which detects underwater objects with sound waves.

The ultrasound produces sound waves as the doctor holds a sensor called a transducer against your skin. Then, a high-frequency sound is transmitted audibly through your body's tissues by the transducer. The unique sensor receives sounds that bounce back to it. Once the transducer transmits the data, the information is translated into real-time images by a computer. A video or photographic image is created from the echoes, showing your physician the status of arteries and veins.

In addition to creating images of soft tissue structures, an ultrasound can also detect blockages in your blood vessels. 

Do I need an ultrasound?

Ultrasound detects and determines the severity of vascular disease. At Vascular Associates of San Diego, it’s commonly used to diagnose the following conditions:

We also use ultrasound to evaluate blood flow to your arteries. This procedure allows our doctors to detect any narrowed areas that may be problematic. The ultrasound also shows blood flow to your neck and the blood supply to your brain.

Our specialists also use ultrasound studies to assess your response to treatments and to monitor the results of endovascular procedures, such as a newly transplanted organ.

Are there different kinds of ultrasounds?

A conventional ultrasound allows our experts to see the structure of your blood vessels and the surrounding tissues. The other kind of ultrasound, The Doppler ultrasound technique, shows your blood flowing through your veins and arteries.

At Vascular Associates of San Diego, we usually perform duplex ultrasounds, which combine Doppler and conventional ultrasound. This gives us the best of both methods. A practitioner might recommend a duplex scan of your abdominal area or a specific vessel may be suggested based on your symptoms and any suspected underlying condition.

How do ultrasound examinations work?

Ultrasound exams produce no radiation, so it’s completely safe. Plus, it’s painless. You might feel pressure from the transducer, but you won’t feel sound waves or any discomfort. The procedure is noninvasive, and no needles, injections, or incisions are necessary. 

While lying on the examination table, a special gel is applied to your skin over the targeted blood vessels. The gel is necessary because it creates a bond that allows sound waves to travel through your skin.

The ultrasound procedure usually takes less than an hour and is then analyzed and discussed with you by a doctor trained in interpreting vascular ultrasound studies.

If you have questions or need to schedule an ultrasound, call or schedule an appointment with us today.

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