Evaluating the Circulatory System

Vascular ultrasound bounces sound waves off your body’s cardiovascular system to create echos –- real time, motion images. Without radiation, we can get a picture of how your blood vessels are constructed and functioning to help us monitor your blood’s flow to organs and tissues throughout your body, and assist us with placing repairs or locating blockages, abnormalities, clots, plaque or emboli.

  • No needles or injections
  • No ionizing radiation
  • Live, real time, moving images show vein and artery structure, movement and function

Getting a good look at designated veins and arteries also lets us know if you are a good candidate for procedures such as angioplasty. We can use the information we gather to review the success of grafts or bypasses. The images may reveal a blood clot, which we can treat in a variety of ways (including blood thinners or filters) to prevent clots from traveling to critical parts of your body such as your lungs (embolism), heart (bloodflow block or heart attack) or brain (stroke).

The Vascular Ultrasound Process

When you have a vascular ultrasound, arrive wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. You may not require a gown and your technician needs to easily guide the transducer (an ultrasound microphone and transmitter).

For the procedure, you lie down on a table that can tilt in a number of directions. Your technician (a sonographer, vascular technologist or radiologist) applies clear gel to your skin so there’s good contact with the transducer. The transducer is then moved around until we’ve captured enough images to tell us what we need to know –- generally no longer than a half hour.

If you are having abdominal vessels examined, please ask your physician if you will need to fast. Your vascular ultrasound images may be uploaded to our picture archiving and communication system (PACS), allowing your team 24/7 access for review and consultation.

If you need a referral to a physician at Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center, call our free physician referral service at 866-341-3362.