What Is Duplex Ultrasound?

Check Out Some of Our Most Commonly Asked Questions

What Is Vascular Disease?

What is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease refers to any abnormal condition of the veins or arteries. The body uses blood vessels to circulate blood throughout the body, and any problems that occur along this network can lead to death or severe disability.

Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to the other parts of the body.

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from other parts of the body back to the heart.

There are many types of Vascular Disease. These include:

  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Venous Disease
  • Carotid Artery Disease

Most Common Type Of Vascular Disease

The most common type of Vascular Disease is peripheral arterial disease (PAD).  Most patients with this condition present with cramping/pain in their legs when they walk, but the symptoms subside when they come to a rest. The first course of treatment is medical management and exercise therapy. If the disease progresses,  the patient may then undergo minimally invasive options such as an angiogram, other catheter-based procedure, or arterial bypass surgery.

When Should I See a Vascular Surgeon?

Signs that you may need to see a vascular surgeon include:

  • Your legs hurt when you walk.
  • Your legs are discolored, aching or swollen, and develop wounds or ulcers.
  • You suddenly experience weakness, numbness or tingling of one side of your body. You also may have blurred vision or feel confused.
  • You experience sudden, severe back and abdominal pain.
  • You have numbness, tingling, and/or pain in your upper extremities after an accident or injury.

What Is Vascular Surgery?

What Is Vascular Surgery?

Vascular surgery refers to a group of different procedures to treat vascular disease. Surgeons can perform vascular surgery on the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart. Surgery also targets the veins and arteries in the arms, legs, pelvis, abdomen, and neck (excluding those in the brain and heart).

Vascular surgery involves both endovascular therapy/surgery and open vascular surgery and may be necessary to treat thrombosis, aneurysms, varicose veins and other vascular diseases.

While treatment for vascular disease varies depending on the severity and type, it is known to treat a wide range of blood flow issues.

What is a Vascular Surgeon?

A vascular surgeon manages arteries and veins in every part of the body, except the heart and the brain.

The vascular surgeon is trained to manage and diagnose diseases impacting all parts of the vascular system. They use operative intervention, medical management and other treatment alternatives.

Vascular surgeons ensure patients with vascular health issues know and understand their options and have training in treatment options from minimally invasive procedures to open surgery.

Why Is Vascular Surgery Performed?

Conditions in which vascular surgery may be needed include:

  • Peripheral artery disease.
  • Hemodialysis Access.
  • Aneurysm.
  • Blood clots.
  • Vein disease.
  • Carotid artery disease.
  • Renal artery occlusive disease.
  • Trauma including procedures to repair blood vessel damage and stop internal bleeding.

What to Expect From Vascular Surgery at Premier Vascular Center of Maryland

When you come in for vascular surgery at Premier Vascular Center of Maryland, you can expect:

  • An initial consultation with Dr. Mouhamad Annous to determine if you need to have a vascular intervention.
  • Dr. Mouhamad Annous will explain the proposed vascular intervention and answer any questions you may have.
  • After you consent to the recommended vascular intervention, our front desk receptionist will schedule your vascular surgery.
  • You must not eat or drink anything on your surgery date or after midnight the evening before.
  • On your surgery date, our nursing staff will welcome you and bring you back for your preoperative examination.
  • Dr. Annous will meet with you a second time to get your consent and explain the procedure.
  • Our anesthesia provider will also meet with you to explain his role in the surgery and obtain your consent.
  • You will be brought back into the operating room for your procedure.
  • After your procedure, you will be brought into the recovery room and monitored closely.
  • We will give you discharge instructions once you’ve recovered.
  • We’ll schedule your postoperative appointment or further vascular intervention.
  • The next day, one of our nurses will call you to ensure that you’re recovering optimally.

What Is Duplex Ultrasound?

Duplex Ultrasound

Duplex ultrasound is a noninvasive test that evaluates the flow of blood through your veins and arteries. Duplex ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of blood flow within the arteries and veins. The results from this test help your vascular surgeon outline a treatment plan and make a sound diagnosis.

Types of Duplex Ultrasound

The types of duplex ultrasound exams vary and can include:

  • An arterial duplex ultrasound of the extremities that looks at the arteries within the legs or arms.
  • A hemodialysis access duplex evaluates the blood flow within the fistula or graft.
  • A carotid duplex displays how well blood flows through the carotid arteries.
  • A venous duplex of the lower extremities that looks at the veins within the legs or arms.
  • A renal duplex examines the kidneys and their blood vessels.
  • An arterial and venous duplex of the abdomen, which looks at blood flow in the central arteries or veins.

What to Expect

An ultrasound probe (also called a transducer) is moved gently over the area being tested. You may feel some pressure at times, but should not experience any pain. This wand sends out the ultrasound waves. A computer measures how the sound waves reflect back, and changes the sound waves into pictures. You may hear a “swishing” sound, which is the sound of your blood moving through the arteries and veins.

You need to stay still during the exam. You may be asked to lie in different body positions, or to take a deep breath and hold it.

Sometimes during the lower extremity arterial duplex, the technologist may calculate an ankle-brachial index (ABI). You will need to wear blood pressure cuffs on your arms and legs for this test.

What Is a Doppler?

Doppler Ultrasound

A unique ultrasound technique, a Doppler bounces high-frequency sound waves off circulating red blood cells to estimate blood flow through a blood vessel. The ultrasound machine measures the echoes that bounce back from the red blood cells. Cells that are moving away from the sound waves make different echoes than cells that are moving towards the sound waves. This is called the Doppler effect, named after the scientist who discovered it. The “Doppler” part of this examination refers to the sound waves that are created during the test.

Doppler ultrasound can check for diseases or conditions that may affect the amount, speed, and direction of blood flow in different parts of your body. It can help find narrowed arteries, blood clots, and other conditions.

This noninvasive test may help identify:

  • Blood clots.
  • Aneurysms.
  • Arterial occlusion.
  • Peripheral artery disease.
  • The narrowing of a blood vessel.
  • Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins.

A complete Doppler examination takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to perform. A specially-trained sonographer will carry out the procedure before a vascular physician reviews it.

What Do I Need To Bring With Me?

At your first appointment with Premier Vascular Center of Maryland, you will need to bring the following:

  • A photo ID (i.e. Drivers License).
  • All insurance cards.
  • Co-pays.
  • A current list of your medications.
  • The names and phone numbers of any physicians you are seeing.
  • Any pertinent medical records.
  • Any referral that was given to you.

What are the symptoms of TOS?

The symptoms for TOS include:

  • An arm that tires quickly
  • Discomfort or tingling in the fingers
  • Weakness or pain in the arm or shoulder
  • Atrophy of the muscle of the palm that leads to the thumb or the pad of the thumb

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