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Vascular Lab Ultrasound Services
    

Your visit to the Vascular Institute of the Rockies may require an ultrasound evaluation. We have an on-site nationally accredited vascular laboratory, specializing in the diagnosis of vascular disease. All examinations are non-invasive (no-needles) and pain free. The data collected provides our physicians the information necessary to treat you appropriately. Exams are performed by Registered Vascular Technologists, highly trained specialists in the field of vascular technology.

 

Below are the indications and descriptions for the vascular lab ultrasound services we offer:

 

ARTERIAL EXAMINATIONS

 

Lower Extremity Arterial Doppler

 

Indications:

¨ Claudication (leg pain occurring with walking and relieved by rest)

¨ Severe leg pain occurring at rest and most notable while lying down

¨ Non-healing leg, foot or toe sores

¨ Weak or absent pulses

¨ Cold feet and toes (vasospasm/Raynaud’s)

 

Description: This test uses pressure and plethysmography to measure arterial circulation. Multiple cuffs are placed along the lower extremities. Severity and general location of disease can be determined. If the indication for the examination is leg pain with walking, the patient may be asked to walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes. Following exercise, pressure measurements are obtained. This test documents the presence and physiologic significance of arterial occlusive disease.

 

Upper Extremity Arterial Doppler

 

Indications:

¨ Cold hands/fingers (vasospasm/Raynaud’s)

¨ Non-healing finger wounds

¨ Hand or finger pain

¨ Palmer arch assessment prior to radial artery harvesting for cardiac bypass surgery

¨ Suspected digital embolization

 

Description: This test uses pressure and plethysmography to measure arterial circulation. Multiple cuffs are placed along the upper extremities. Severity and location of disease can be determined. The test may include digital recordings following cold or warm water immersion.

 

Lower/Upper Extremity Arterial Ultrasound

 

Lower Extremity:

Indications:

¨ Leg pain occurring with walking or at rest

¨ Non-healing leg, foot or toe wounds

¨ Weak or absent pulses

¨ Suspected aneurysm at the groin or behind the knee

¨ Follow-up after vascular bypass surgery

 

Upper Extremity:

Indications:

¨ Radial artery duplex mapping for cardiac bypass surgery

¨ Pre-operative fistula placement

 

Description: This test uses Doppler ultrasound. Gel is applied along the extremity. A probe is then run along the course of the artery to locate obstructions/occlusions. Length and severity of lesions can be determined. This test can be helpful in planning intervention (angioplasty versus bypass). This test may be used in conjunction with a lower/upper extremity arterial exam. It is routinely performed following lower extremity arterial bypass to ensure that the bypass remains open. This test is also used to check aneurysms at the groin or behind the knee.

 

VENOUS EXAMINATIONS

 

Lower Extremity Venous Ultrasound

Indications:

¨ Sudden leg pain

¨ Sudden or long term leg swelling

¨ DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

¨ Varicose veins

¨ Lower leg skin discoloration

¨ Sores located above the ankle

¨ Vein mapping prior to vascular or cardiac surgery

 

Description: This test uses Doppler ultrasound. Gel is applied along the extremity. A probe is then run along the vein to assess for deep and superficial clots of the lower extremities. Acute and chronic thrombosis can be differentiated. Testing for venous valvular insufficiency, which may lead to varicose veins and ulcerations, is performed.

 

Upper Extremity Venous Ultrasound

Indications:

¨ Arm pain

¨ Acute or long-term arm swelling

¨ Vein mapping prior to vascular or cardiac surgery

¨ DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

 

Description: This test uses Doppler ultrasound. Gel is applied along the extremity. A probe is run along the vein to access for deep and superficial venous clots of the upper extremities.

 

CEREBROVASCULAR EXAMINATION

 

Carotid Ultrasound

Indications:

¨ Transient ischemic attack (TIA/”mini stroke”)

Symptoms include:

¨ Temporary loss of vision in one eye (amaurosis fugax)

¨ Weakness involving one side of the body

¨ Slurred or difficult speech (aphasia/dysphasia)

TIA symptoms resolve lasting less than 24 hours. TIA’s often precede a complete stroke

¨ Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA/stroke)

¨ Bruit (brew-ee) turbulent noise heard in the neck with a stethescope

¨ Pre-operative screening prior to major surgery

 

Description: This test uses Doppler ultrasound to assess the carotid and vertebral arteries which lie along the neck region. Gel is placed along the neck and a probe is then run along the course of the neck to determine severity of blockages.

 

ABDOMINAL EXAMINATIONS

 

Aortic Ultrasound

Indications:

¨ Suspected aortic aneurysm

¨ Aortic aneurysm monitoring

¨ Abdominal bruit (brew-ee) turbulent noise heard in the neck with a stethescope

¨ Stent placement screening prior to endovascular repair

 

Description: This test uses Doppler ultrasound technology to visualize the abdominal aorta. Gel is placed along the abdominal region. A probe is run along the length of the aorta. Patients should abstain from eating or drinking the morning of the examination. Patients’ will be given early morning appointments so as to allow them nourishment following the exam. Patients should continue to take their medications.

 

Renal Artery Utrasound

Indications:

¨ Hypertension

¨ Surveillance of renal artery angioplasty/bypass.

 

Description: This test uses Doppler ultrasound. Gel is placed along the abdominal region. A probe is run along the abdominal region to detect blockages of the renal arteries which provide the blood supply to the kidney. Patients should abstain from eating or drinking the morning of the examination. Patients will be given early morning appointments so as to allow them nourishment following the exam. Patients should continue to take their medication.