Vascular ultrasound, also known as duplex ultrasonography or Doppler ultrasound, is a non-invasive imaging technique used to evaluate blood vessels and blood flow in the body.
During this study, a small handheld device called a transducer is used to emit high-frequency sound waves into the body. These sound waves bounce back off the blood vessels and are detected by the transducer, which converts them into images that can be viewed on a monitor.
Vascular ultrasound is commonly used to diagnose and monitor various vascular conditions, including:
Evaluating blood flow and detecting blockages or narrowing in the arteries of the legs, arms, or neck.
Detecting blood clots in the deep veins, usually in the legs.
Assessing the carotid arteries in the neck to detect plaques or other abnormalities that may increase the risk of stroke.
Evaluating the aorta in the abdomen for the presence of an abnormal bulge or enlargement that could potentially rupture.
Assessing the veins and valves in the legs to identify valve dysfunction or venous reflux, which can lead to conditions like varicose veins.
Vascular ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that does not involve radiation. It provides real-time images and can be used to measure blood flow velocity and direction using the Doppler effect, which allows the assessment of blood flow characteristics such as speed and turbulence.
The results of a vascular ultrasound can help vascular surgeons make accurate diagnoses, develop appropriate treatment plans, and monitor the effectiveness of interventions over time.