At Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare, we offer advanced diagnostic testing and treatment of diseases of the vascular system. This includes detecting blocked veins and arteries in the arms, legs and neck.
IAC Accredited in Vascular Technology demonstrates a commitment to quality care. The purpose of the IAC Vascular Testing accreditation program is to ensure high quality patient care and to promote health care by providing a mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality vascular diagnostic evaluations by a process of accreditation. Through the accreditation process, facilities assess every aspect of daily operation and its impact on the quality of health care provided to patients. Health care organizations are held to very high levels of accountability, by peers and by the general public. In numerous states, reimbursement directives that require accreditation of the facility have been instituted by Medicare carriers as well as private, third-party insurers.
A noninvasive procedure performed on the outside of the body, and do not require the use of needles, catheters or dye. There is no use of x-ray, and the tests are painless and without side effects. Most procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, using sound waves to listen to blood flow and visualize arteries or veins directly. Testing can be done with Doppler (sound), ultrasound (pictures), or both (duplex).
If your physician suspects that you have had a stroke or TIA, or there are other signs of cerebrovascular disease, he/she may order a carotid duplex to determine the extent of the problem. This test is used to look for plaque or blockages in the arteries of the neck which carry blood to the brain, and measures the speed of the blood flow.
Peripheral Artery Disease
After a careful physical evaluation and history, if your physician suspects you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), he/she may order tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests can be performed in the legs and the arms. Many of the tests use sound waves to listen to blood flow (Doppler), or image the arteries (ultrasound), and may involve blood pressure testing in the arms and legs at different levels. Exercise is sometimes included to assess tolerance, limitation and symptoms.
Peripheral Venous Disease
If your physician suspects you may have a blood clot in your arms or legs, he/she may order a venous duplex to use Doppler and ultrasound to look for clots or blockages in the deep or surface veins or your arms or legs, and to see how well the blood flow is returning to your heart. If you have varicose veins which are large, painful, or you have aching and pain in your legs, a more detailed ultrasound test can be performed by a specialist, to assess the valves in the veins.
The aorta is a major artery in your abdomen, and plaque or aneurysms can develop in this artery and branches of the aorta. If your physician suspects blockages or an aneurysm in the abdomen, he/she can order a blood flow test (ultrasound) to measure the size of the arteries, the speed of the blood flow, and look for plaque or blockages. These tests are done on an empty stomach.
Renal Artery Duplex
The renal arteries are branches of the abdominal aorta, and can develop plaque or blockages like other arteries. If you are having problems with uncontrolled blood pressure, or have a history of kidney disorders, your physician could order a Duplex test to look for plaque or blockages in the arteries going from the aorta to the kidneys, and the blood flow inside the kidneys. These tests are done on an empty stomach.
Mesenteric Artery Duplex
The mesenteric arteries are branches off the abdominal aorta which take blood flow to your stomach and bowels. If your physician suspects you might have a blockage in these arteries, he/she may order a mesenteric study to evaluate the blood flow and look for plaque or blockages. You might be asked to drink some Ensure, and the technologist will reevaluate your arteries after you drink it, to measure the blood flow response after eating. This is called a food-challenge, and is a normal part of the mesenteric study. These tests are done on an empty stomach.