A vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive and safe procedure for examining blood circulation throughout the body. It’s designed to assess blood flow to specific organs and tissues, as well as to detect and locate any blockages or abnormalities within the blood vessels.
Cardiovascular physician Nader Chadda, MD, specializes in vascular intervention at Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates, and routinely evaluates blood flow to detect issues such as blood clots and diagnose conditions like chronic venous insufficiency.
What does a vascular ultrasound involve?
Sound waves are used in vascular ultrasound to create images of blood vessels in the body’s circulatory system. Sound waves reflect off blood cells moving within blood vessels during a vascular ultrasound, allowing the physician to accurately assess their movement and speed, as well as the condition of the blood vessels.
Arteries transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body, whereas veins transport oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart for reoxygenation.
What is the purpose of a vascular ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound examinations of the arteries and veins are commonly used to:
- Keep an eye on the flow of blood to specific organs and tissues
- Identify and locate any blood vessel blockages, abnormalities, or narrowing
- Determine the rate of blood flow.
- Detect blood clots
- Check to see if a blood vessel is enlarged
- Examine varicose veins
- Determine whether angioplasty is required
- Assess a surgical procedure's success
If you need a vascular ultrasound, Dr. Chadda will ensure that you understand why you need one and what he’s looking for.
What conditions can a vascular ultrasound detect?
Vascular ultrasound is used to accurately diagnose and assess the severity of a variety of vascular conditions, such as those caused by reduced blood flow or blocked blood vessels, which can lead to serious problems like pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke.
The following are examples of common vascular conditions:
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the veins have trouble sending blood from the limbs back to the heart. Blood can back up and pool in the legs if blood flow to the heart is restricted due to a blood clot or other malfunction. The most common cause of CVI is a malfunction of the vein valves, which allows blood to flow backward instead of toward the heart.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries prevent oxygen-rich blood from reaching the body's limbs in adequate amounts. Atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, is the most common cause of narrowing. Insufficient blood flow to the area, which typically occurs in the legs, causes symptoms such as painful muscle cramps.
Carotid artery disease (CAD)
Carotid artery disease is similar to peripheral artery disease in that it affects the carotid arteries on both sides of the neck. The carotid arteries supply blood to the brain, and if they narrow or become blocked due to atherosclerosis, blood flow to the head can be restricted. CAD can cause a stroke in severe cases.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition in which a blood clot forms in a large, deep vein, usually in the leg. If the blood clot breaks loose and lodges in the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
If you have symptoms of blood vessel problems or have a confirmed diagnosis of vascular disease, a vascular ultrasound provides valuable information that will guide treatment.
To discuss your vascular health, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chadda. Our offices are located in Hudson, Brooksville, and Land O’ Lakes, Florida. New and existing patients can also book online. We offer in-person and telehealth appointments.