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If you have problems with your arteries and veins, you might require to have a vascular ultrasound performed to examine how blood flows through them. Vascular ultrasounds mainly check for clots in your arteries and veins, which can cause reduced blood flow. Such a situation can be life-threatening because it means that blood that is carrying nutrients required by various organs is not reaching them. Here's what you should know about vascular ultrasounds and artery and vein problems:
How Is a Vascular Ultrasound Carried Out?
You should first know that it is non-invasive, meaning you do not require your skin to be pricked or cut. A gel is applied to the area to be scanned (leg, arm, neck, abdomen, etc.) and then a probe (transducer) is placed on the gel and moved around in a kind of motion that feels like a soft massage on your skin; the gel may also feel cold.
The probe sends sound waves inside your body, which reflect on tissue, arteries and organs. The reflected waves are sent back to the probe, which then sends them to the ultrasound machine. The machine interprets the waves to an image, which is displayed on a monitor. The doctor is then able to see what is happening in your arteries and can identify areas with low blood flow. The soundwaves are safe, so don't worry about radiation and cancer; an ultrasound machine does not use radiation.
When Might You Require a Vascular Ultrasound?
There are a few signs that indicate you need a vascular ultrasound. If you suffer from conditions that affect arteries and veins, you might need regular vascular ultrasound procedures. Such conditions may include varicose veins, aneurysms, diabetes, inflammatory problems, embolus, etc. Other symptoms to consider are a decreasing blood flow rate, for example, persisting or constant numbness or tingling sensations in your arms or legs, swollen arms, legs, neck, abdomen, etc., rest pain (this is a pain you experience in your legs or arms when sitting, but goes away when you stand), etc.
If you have been through surgery and the doctor wants to check that you did not develop a clot. As indicated earlier, a clot is life-threatening; that is why after surgery your doctor insists that you should walk around, mainly done to prevent clotting. Additionally, you'll need the ultrasound if your doctor wants to perform a procedure that involves the insertion of an instrument in your arteries or veins (such procedures are done when you are sedated or under general anaesthesia).
If you're unsure, it's safer to contact a medical clinic that provides ultrasounds and ask them if your symptoms indicate a larger issue.Share