5 Reasons for Vascular Ultrasound
Vascular ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that doctors use to visualise arteries and veins. Here are a few reasons why a doctor might refer you for a vascular ultrasound.
1. Diagnosing Blood Clots
Blood clots can be very dangerous, posing a risk of heart attack or stroke. One of the common symptoms of a blood clot is pain in the leg, but without imaging, it is difficult for a doctor to tell whether the cause of the pain is a clot or a simple muscle strain. That's why doctors commonly carry out a vascular ultrasound to visualise the veins in the leg to find out if there is a clot there. Once they have diagnosed the blood clot, they can prescribe an appropriate treatment to remove or break down the clot before it can do any serious harm.
2. Monitoring Circulation
Doctors can use a vascular ultrasound to see how blood flows around the body. For example, if you have signs of poor circulation in your feet or hands, your doctor can carry out a vascular ultrasound to find out whether the flow of blood is actually reduced. Once they know what is going on, doctors can give you treatment and lifestyle advice for maintaining good blood circulation.
3. Measuring Varicose Veins
Varicose veins create bulges under the skin, which can be unsightly and sometimes painful. However, vascular ultrasounds enable doctors to look inside the varicose veins to see how badly dilated they are. Once they have a good picture of the varicose veins, they can recommend the most appropriate treatment, which could be a conservative measure such as wearing compression stockings or staying off your feet, or a more invasive treatment option such as surgery.
4. Identifying Arterial Enlargement
Arterial enlargement is a common symptom of heart disease. Doctors can use vascular ultrasound to see how enlarged your arteries are, which can provide information about the stage and severity of your heart disease. Using this information, doctors can prescribe treatments that can slow down and control heart disease, such as medication, lifestyle changes or surgery.
5. Follow-Up After Surgical Treatment
Doctors often use vascular ultrasound to track healing and measure improvement after you've received treatment for a vascular condition. For example, after surgery for varicose veins, doctors can use this imaging technique to ensure that the veins are healing well. The information provided by the ultrasound can help doctors to decide whether you need any more treatment.