Our body is a road map of arteries, veins and capillaries. Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive method of assessing the general patency and performance of these vessels. Scans performed include aortic aneurysm screening, carotid artery screening and imaging for potential deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you are worried about any part of your body don’t hesitate to call us and we will be happy to advise.
Carotid arteries scan
The carotid ultrasound scan is most frequently performed to detect narrowing, or stenosis of the carotid artery, a condition that substantially increases the risk of stroke. It is used as a general screening tool for men over 45 years or if you have history of cardiovascular disease or at risk of stroke.
The scan will evaluate the size, shape, and outline, measuring also the blood flow velocities in the:
- Common carotid arteries from their origin to bifurcation
- Internal and external carotid arteries
- Vertebral arteries
Common problems which can show on the scan are plaque deposits and subsequent narrowing of the arteries particularly the internal carotid.
No specific preparation is needed.
If you are suffering from pain, swelling and tenderness in one or both of your legs (usually your calf) or a heavy ache, warm skin or redness, particularly at the back of your leg, it may be a sign of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
The main danger is that the clot may break up and travel up to the lungs blocking blood flow and oxygenation. This can be life-threatening.
An ultrasound scan of the legs may be needed.
There is no preparation for the scan, just bring yourself along and we will refer you should the result of scan shows indications of DVT. Treatment of DVT usually involves anticoagulation (thinning the blood with medication) whilst the clot dissolves.
The aorta is the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body. It is therefore critical for this artery to be in good condition.
This scan is used to detect abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and also for the monitoring and follow-up assessment of an aortic dilation.
Aortic Aneurysm Screening can be performed as a routine check and is recommended in men aged over 45. If you have a family history it may be worth considering having this scan prior to 45 years of age.
If you have noticed a midline palpable mass in the abdomen or a pulsating mass then it may be worth you having an aortic ultrasound scan to check if you have an aneurysm.
If an aortic aneurysm is seen then both kidneys and renal arteries will be evaluated
The scan is performed trans-abdominally and you will be required to fast from eating and drinking for 6 hours prior to you appointment.