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Vascular Ultrasound Imaging with Beehive Solutions

What is Vascular Ultrasound Imaging?

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing parts of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Vascular refers to the body's circulatory system and blood vessels, both arteries and veins. 

Therefore, 'vascular ultrasound imaging' refers to the ultrasound examination of the body's circulatory system.

This uses the 'Doppler phenomenon' to study the speed and volume of the blood flow through a vessel, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.


What are some common uses of Vascular Ultrasound Imaging?

Carotid arteries: These are the arteries that supply the blood flow to the brain and if blocked can lead to a Stroke. Doppler can demonstrate whether the carotid arteries are stenosed (narrowed), calcified or occluded.

Aortic Aneurysm: This is a widening of the aorta. This is a potentially fatal condition for which early medical intervention can be life saving. Thrombosis of veins: These are blood clots which can develop in the body’s venous system and most commonly occur in the deep veins.

Upper and lower limb arteries: Locate and identify blockages or restrictions (stenosis) and abnormalities like plaque or emboli and help plan for their effective treatment.

Graft Evaluation: Evaluate the success of procedures that graft or bypass blood vessels. Tumors and congenital malformation

Varicose Veins: Determine the source and severity of varicose veins.

 
How Does the Procedure work?

In medicine, ultrasound is used to detect changes in appearance of organs, tissues, and vessels or detect abnormal masses, such as tumors.

In an ultrasound examination, a transducer both sends the sound waves and records the echoing waves. When the transducer is pressed against the skin, it directs small pulses of inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body. As the sound waves bounce off of internal organs, fluids and tissues, the sensitive microphone in the transducer records tiny changes in the sound's pitch and direction. These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on the monitor.

Doppler ultrasound, a special application of ultrasound, measures the direction and speed of blood cells as they move through vessels. The movement of blood cells causes a change in pitch of the reflected sound waves (called the Doppler effect). A computer collects and processes the sounds and creates graphs or colour pictures that represent the flow of blood through the blood vessels.


How is the procedure performed?


A Vascular Technologist, also known as a Vascular Sonographer or a Vascular Scientist, usually performs the procedure in an out-patient setting; or in theatre to assist with operations, such as radiofrequency or endo-venous laser varicose vein operations.

A clear gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin. The sonographer or radiologist then presses the transducer firmly against the skin and sweeps it back and forth over the area o interest. The results are instant and reported by the vascular technologist


What are the benefits vs. the risks of ultrasound?

Benefits:

  • Most ultrasound scanning is noninvasive (no needles or injections) and is usually painless
  • Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods.
  • Ultrasound imaging uses no ionizing radiation.
  • Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images.
  • Ultrasound causes no health problems and may be repeated as often as is necessary.

Risks:

  • For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no independently proven harmful effects on humans
 
Information > Vascular Ultrasound Imaging / Varicose Veins / Varicose Vein Treatments / Laser Ablation
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