Diagnostic Vascular Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a painless test that uses sound waves to produce images of structures in your body. This is a noninvasive test, meaning no surgery is involved, and no tissue is removed. Our expert team provides a range of vascular ultrasound services.

What is a vascular ultrasound?

A vascular ultrasound examines the circulation of blood in the arteries and veins in your body. Arteries carry blood away from the heart and out to the body, while veins carry blood from the body back to the heart. The pictures created by the ultrasound make it possible to see blockages and blood clots. This gives your surgeon more information about your condition and can help determine the best treatment for you.

What to expect

A typical ultrasound is painless. There is no surgery, radiation or contrast dye involved. During the ultrasound, a technician runs a small hand-held device (called a transducer) against your skin over the area of your body being examined. The transducer transmits images of the arteries and veins to a monitor so a technician and your doctor can see them. An ultrasound can take about 30 to 90 minutes to complete—though some tests are shorter and some are longer.

How long will my vascular ultrasound take?

The length of your test will depend on the type of ultrasound you receive.

Types of vascular ultrasounds

We offer several types of vascular ultrasounds.

  • Abdominal vasculature ultrasound examines the blood vessels and blood flow from the aorta (the main blood vessel leading away from the heart) to the abdominal area. This helps test for blockages, such as an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Carotid ultrasound examines the structure and blood flow of the carotid arteries to detect blockages, such as a carotid artery aneurism. The carotid arteries are located on each side of the neck. They carry blood from the heart to the brain.
  • Renal ultrasound examines the kidneys and their blood vessels.
  • Upper and lower extremity ultrasound examines the arms and legs and is used to test for peripheral arterial disease and other conditions.
  • Vein mapping maps the veins of the legs to prepare for graft or bypass surgery. It also provides information to help treat varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, leg swelling, and other conditions.