Vascular Ultrasound

Ultrasound Services

Vascular Ultrasound

What is a vascular ultrasound?

Ultrasound utilizes a transducer to send and receive sound waves, and this information is used to create a real time image. As a result of this ability, and the safe application of sound waves (ultrasound), ultrasound is a leading diagnostic tool. There is no radiation associated with ultrasound.

Vascular ultrasounds are most commonly ordered to check for blood clots and to assess blood flow to an organ. The most common vascular ultrasound is used to assess blood flow in the large veins of your arms or legs when a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is suspected. In this exam, the veins are compressed, and the blood flow is assessed to ensure there are no blockages. This ultrasound can also help identify leaky valves or venous insufficiency. 

Another vascular ultrasound offered at Beam Radiology is the Carotid Artery doppler study. This is a vascular ultrasound performed to evaluate the blood flow from the heart to the brain.

Frequently asked questions:

A DVT is a blood clot of the deep venous system. Typically, the leg or arm. When this thrombosis, or clot, forms it blocks the flow of blood through vessel and cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, and redness. This is a dangerous condition as clot can break away in the vessel and travel towards the heart, lungs, or brain.   

DVT can develop if there are pre-existing medical conditions that affect how your blood clots or if you do not move for long periods of time due to accidents, bed rest, or surgeries. 

Vascular Ultrasounds may be prescribed by your doctor for a variety of reasons including: 

  • Your doctor may suspect blockages in your veins or arteries
  • To locate the source of the blockage
  • Detect enlarged arteries (aneurysm) 
  • To determine if a patient is a candidate for other vascular procedures

No special preparations are required. Patients are able to eat and drink as they normally would. 

You will lie on a padded exam table during the test. A small amount of gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined. A small device called a transducer is placed over the gel-coated area to be examined. The transducer produces images on the ultrasound screen. The transducer is held in place until the blood flow information has been recorded.

There may be some minor discomfort during the exam when the technologist applies pressure to your arms or legs. You may hear noises when the technologist listens to the blood flow and records the measurements.

Although there are no inherent risks with a vascular ultrasound, some patients may experience discomfort with the pressure applied with the transducer, to the areas being examined.

Ready to schedule an appointment?

Here's how you can get started...

close up of clock, calendar and pencil on the table, planning for business meeting or travel planning concept