Ultrasound is a technology commonly associated with prenatal care. We use them to take pictures of unborn babies to determine their size, sex, and other characteristics. But there are many other uses of this technology. In the world of cardiovascular care, the ultrasound can be used to give cardiologists a closer look at your heart muscle. Or, in the case of Vascular Ultrasounds, your veins.
Ultrasound technology uses the transmission of high-frequency sound, beyond what your ears can detect, to create an image of what is happening inside your body. This may seem a little like hocus pocus to you – using sound to make images – but it’s a tried and true method of giving cardiologists a visual of your heart and connected veins in a completely noninvasive way.

As the sound produced in a vascular ultrasound is transmitted into your body, it bounces back and is measured by the ultrasound machine. By tracking the distance that the sound traveled it can begin to assemble an image of the veins underneath your skin.

What Are We Looking For?
Once the ultrasound machine compiles an image of your vein structure your cardiologist can look for clots or fatty build-up that may obstruct blood flow through your veins. These clots can result in a heart attack or stroke if not addressed in a timely manner. Also, an ultrasound can detect areas in which your veins, specifically the valves in your veins, are working ineffectively leading to leakage or pooling. Most often this kind of venous disease leads to the unsightly, bulging veins that we commonly call varicose veins.

Is It Safe?
As evidenced by the fact that ultrasound technology is used on our most fragile patients (unborn babies), this technology is known for being very safe. Unlike some other diagnostic tools that require the use of radiation, there is no indication of harmful effects from undergoing an ultrasound. This no-downtime, non-invasive assessment is a highly effective tool for cardiologists to monitor the health of your veins.

Your vascular health is essential to your heart health. Many lifestyle-related heart conditions are caused by plaque that builds up in your veins and arteries, restricting blood flow to your heart. There is no question that the health of your veins matters. And the vascular ultrasound is one powerful tool for measuring your vein health and providing a clear picture from which your cardiologist can determine a proper course of action. If you’d like to know more about your upcoming ultrasound test, contact us today.