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Taking a Look at the Vascular Ultrasound Procedure

Vascular ultrasound is performed to diagnose blockages that are interfering with blood flow. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these clots can lead to stroke or heart attacks and the need for emergency care. This diagnostic imaging procedure is painless and does not require radiation. If you are scheduled for one of these screening tests, here is what you need to know.

Why the Test Is Performed

Vascular ultrasounds are a common part of heart and vascular care. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have symptoms of a blood clot, such as unexplained swelling, tenderness, or shortness of breath. It may also be ordered because of the results of other heart and vascular studies. If you are scheduled for certain heart procedures, such as an angioplasty, or if you recently had bypass surgery, a vascular ultrasound may be ordered to either determine if you are a good candidate for treatment or to see if your procedure was successful.

How to Prepare

Very little preparation is required for a vascular ultrasound. In some cases, your provider may ask you to fast before the test. You should wear comfortable clothing to the imaging center and avoid wearing jewelry. Depending on the area being screened, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Vascular ultrasounds are painless, so there is no need for pre-procedure medications or anesthesia.

What to Expect

During a vascular ultrasound, gel will be applied to the area being tested, and a transducer will be run over the skin. The transducer transmits information to a computer that creates an image based on sound waves. The resulting imaging shows your physician where a block may be located.

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center offers vascular ultrasound as part of our heart and vascular services. If you need diagnostic imaging in Miami, emergency care, or a referral to a heart and vascular specialist, please call us today at (305) 682-7000.