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Why Might I Need a Vascular Ultrasound?

Heart and blood vessel diseases impact millions of Americans. Coronary heart disease (CAD)  is the most common type of heart disease. CAD develops when major blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood and nutrients to the heart become damaged. 

This can happen when plaque builds up in the arteries, causing the arteries to narrow and hinder blood flow to the heart, and raising the risk for heart attack or stroke.

What is ultrasonography?

In medicine, imaging studies provide many types of vital information about your health. Ultrasonography is a type of imaging that transmits high-frequency sound waves through body tissues. These sound waves can’t be heard by human ears, but their echoes are recorded and converted into photographic or video images.

Ultrasound imaging study is most commonly known for its use in monitoring a baby’s growth and development during pregnancy.

What is a vascular ultrasound?

A vascular ultrasound is an imaging study used to examine the circulation in your blood vessels. Doctors use this noninvasive test to evaluate arteries or veins in different parts of the body. When you get a vascular ultrasound study, sound waves are transmitted through the tissues of the area being examined.

These sound waves reflect off blood cells moving within your blood vessels, and return to the ultrasound machine. The sound waves are recorded and displayed on a computer screen to create an image of the blood vessel. 

The speed of blood flow is calculated based on how fast sound waves return to the ultrasound machine. Narrowing is indicated when blood flows through a blood vessel too fast.

Why is vascular ultrasound useful?

A vascular ultrasound is useful in detecting the presence and severity of circulatory disease. Dr. Rajesh Sam Suri at West Coast Medicine and Cardiology can diagnose the severity of narrowing of the arteries. Vascular ultrasound is also useful for diagnosing blood clots in the veins of the arms and legs, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Blood clots can cause serious complications, such as pulmonary embolism. PE is a potentially life-threatening condition that happens when a blood clot breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to your lungs, where it blocks one of the blood vessels.

Expanded use of vascular ultrasound allows doctors to evaluate vascular disease in the abdomen, which helps to diagnose problems like abdominal aortic aneurysms. Dr. Sam Suri may also use vascular ultrasound on patients after they’ve undergone vascular procedures like stents or bypass grafts.

When is a vascular ultrasound recommended?

A vascular ultrasound can make sure your arteries are free of any blockages. If you have a blockage, Dr. Sam Suri uses the mapping portion of the study to determine which blood vessels may be used as a coronary artery bypass graft, or lower extremity bypass graft. You might need a vascular ultrasound to:

Having a vascular ultrasound is important for recognizing and treating vascular conditions. This noninvasive, painless imaging study can save your life.

For all of your cardiovascular needs, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sam Suri. Call 510-398-2273 for our Hayward, California, office and 510-244-4280 for our Fremont, California, office. You can also send us a message here on our website anytime.

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