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Diagnosis & Vascular Lab Tests

Our state-of-the art non-invasive equipment provides a safe, painless way to detect vascular disease.

Our lab is ICAVL accredited and our employees are specialty trained vascular technologist.

Below is a list of vascular tests we perform, along with information about how to prepare for the test, what it will be like, and when you'll get your results.

Abdominal Aorta Ultrasound

An abdominal aorta ultrasound evaluates the aorta, the largest artery in the abdomen. The iliac arteries, which are branches of the aorta, are also evaluated as part of this exam.

Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the abdomen.

Why do I need an abdominal aorta ultrasound?

This test is used to:

  • Look for enlargement of the aorta or iliac arteries (aneurysm).
  • Look for blockages or narrowing caused by plaque in the aorta or iliac arteries.
  • Monitor existing aneurysms or arterial disease, or follow-up after surgical intervention.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

DO NOT eat or drink for eight (8) hours prior to this test. You may take small sips of water.

Please do not chew gum or smoke the day of the test.

If you are diabetic and unable to fast, please eat a low-fat diet (like toast, fruit or juice). No dairy products, carbonated beverages or beverages with caffeine.

Why can’t I eat or drink anything before this exam?

When you eat, drink, or even chew gum, you swallow air into the stomach and bowel. Excess air in the bowel reduces ultrasound visibility of the aorta and iliac arteries.

Fasting before the exam helps to minimize interference from bowel.

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

Small sips of water are okay.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam.
  • The sonographer will ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. You will be asked to raise your shirt halfway up your torso and to move your pants down to the tops of your hips.
  • The sonographer will move a transducer around your abdomen to obtain images. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your abdomen.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)

The Ankle/Brachial Index (ABI) is a test that detects arterial disease in the legs by calculating a ratio from the blood pressure in the arms and the blood pressure at the ankles.

Arterial waveforms and blood pressure measurements are acquired using a hand held Doppler probe applied to the arms and ankles.

Why do I need an ABI?

This test is used to:

  • Determine the presence or absence of peripheral arterial disease in the legs.
  • Monitor existing arterial disease, or follow-up after surgical intervention.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the test.
  • The sonographer will ask you to remove your socks and shoes and to lie on your back on an exam table. Blood pressure cuffs will be placed around your ankles.
  • The sonographer will obtain blood pressure measurements at both ankles and also on both arms.
  • Depending on the type of ABI test requested by your physician, you may be asked to walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes or do another modified exercise. Blood pressure measurements will be retaken immediately after exercise.
  • In some circumstances, the sonographer may also take blood pressure measurements on your toes.

How will I feel during the test?

You may feel fatigue or leg pain during the exercise portion of this test.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes about 30 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Carotid Artery Ultrasound

A carotid artery ultrasound evaluates the main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain.

Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the neck.

Why do I need a carotid artery ultrasound?

This test is used to:

  • Look for blockages, narrowing, or other diseases of the carotid arteries that may increase the risk of stroke.
  • Monitor existing carotid disease or follow-up after surgical intervention.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam.
  • The sonographer will ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. During the test the sonographer will move a transducer along your neck. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.
  • The sonographer will ask you to turn your head to the side and will request that you remain still and refrain from speaking during the test as vocalizations interfere with the exam.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel slight pressure of the transducer on your neck.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Dialysis Fistula | Graft Evaluation

A dialysis access ultrasound examines an arteriovenous fistula or graft. Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the arm.

Why do I need a dialysis fistula/graft evaluation?

This test is used to:

  • Evaluate new dialysis access.
  • Look for obstruction of a fistula/graft that may be causing difficulty with dialysis.
  • Surveillance of existing dialysis access.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the dialysis access evaluation.
  • You will be asked to remove your shirt and change into a gown.
  • The sonographer will ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. During the test the sonographer will move a transducer along your arm. The exam will extend from your neck down your arm. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel slight pressure of the transducer on your arm.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Extremity Arterial Ultrasound

An extremity arterial ultrasound examines the arteries in the arm and/or leg. Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the arm or leg.

Why do I need an extremity arterial ultrasound?

This test is used to:

  • Look for blockages or narrowing caused by plaque in the arteries of the arms or legs.
  • Look for enlargement of the arteries in the arms or legs (aneurysm).
  • Monitor existing arterial disease or follow-up after surgical intervention.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam.
  • You will need to remove your pants, socks and shoes for a leg exam or remove your shirt for an arm exam. The sonographer will provide you with a paper drape or gown.
  • During the exam you will lie on your back on an exam table. The sonographer will move a transducer along your arm or leg. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your arm or leg.

How long does the test take?

An exam of a single arm or single leg takes about 30 minutes and an exam of both arms or both legs takes about 60 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Extremity Venous Ultrasound: Venus Insufficiency & DVT

An extremity venous ultrasound examines the veins in the arms or legs. Venous insufficiency exams are done in the legs only. An exam done to evaluate for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be of the arm or leg.

Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the arm or leg.

Why do I need an extremity venous ultrasound?

Venous Insufficiency exam:

  • Evaluate for the presence or absence of venous insufficiency (also known as venous reflux). Venous insufficiency occurs when valves in the veins are not working correctly, causing leg swelling, discomfort, and varicose veins. This exam evaluates both the deep and superficial veins in the legs.
  • Monitor existing venous insufficiency or follow-up after treatment.
  • DVT exam:
    • Evaluate for the presence or absence of a blood clot (thrombus) in the veins of the leg or arm.Monitor
    • known DVT.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam.
  • You will need to remove your pants, socks and shoes for a leg exam or remove your shirt for an arm exam. The sonographer will provide you with a paper drape or gown.
  • During the exam you will lie on your back on an exam table. The sonographer will move a transducer along your arm or leg. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.

How will I feel during the test?

You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your arm or leg. The sonographer will need to press on your arm or leg to compress the veins being examined, which can sometimes cause discomfort.

How long does the test take?

An exam of a single arm or single leg takes about 30-45 minutes and an exam of both arms or both legs takes about 60 minutes, depending on many variables.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

If your exam is positive for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), one of our providers will discuss exam results and treatment recommendations with you following the exam.

Inferior Vena Cava Ultrasound (IVC)

An inferior vena cava (IVC) ultrasound examines the IVC, the largest vein in the abdomen. The iliac veins, which are branches of the IVC, are also evaluated as part of this exam.

Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the abdomen.

Why do I need an inferior vena cava ultrasound?

This test is used to:

  • Evaluate for the presence or absence of a blood clot (thrombus) in the IVC or iliac veins.
    Monitor existing thrombus or follow-up after insertion of an IVC filter.
    Evaluate for May-Thurner Syndrome, which results in compression of the left iliac vein.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

DO NOT eat or drink for 8 hours prior to this test. You may take small sips of water.
Please do not chew gum or smoke the day of the test.
If you are diabetic and unable to fast, please eat a low-fat diet (like toast, fruit or juice). No dairy products, carbonated beverages or beverages with caffeine.

Why can’t I eat or drink anything before this exam?

Fasting before the exam helps to minimize interference from bowel.

When you eat, drink, or even chew gum, you swallow air into the stomach and bowel. Excess air in the bowel reduces ultrasound visibility of the IVC and iliac veins. 

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor. Small sips of water are okay.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam of your IVC and iliac veins.
  • Before the test, the sonographer will explain the procedure.
  • The sonographer will ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. You will be asked to raise your shirt halfway up your torso and to move your pants down to the tops of your hips.
  • The sonographer will move a transducer around your abdomen to obtain images. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your abdomen.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your primary care physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Mesenteric Artery Ultrasound

A mesenteric artery ultrasound evaluates the arteries that supply blood to the intestines.

Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the abdomen.

Why do I need a mesenteric artery ultrasound?

This test is used to:

  • Look for blockages or narrowing of the mesenteric arteries which may contribute to abdominal pain after eating or weight loss.
  • Monitor existing arterial disease, or follow-up after surgical intervention.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

DO NOT eat or drink for 8 hours prior to this test. You may take small sips of water.
Please do not chew gum or smoke the day of the test.
If you are diabetic and unable to fast, please eat a low-fat diet (like toast, fruit or juice). No dairy products, carbonated beverages or beverages with caffeine.

Why can’t I eat or drink anything before this exam?

Fasting before the exam helps to minimize interference from bowel. When you eat, drink, or even chew gum, you swallow air into the stomach and bowel. Excess air in the bowel reduces ultrasound visibility of the mesenteric arteries. 

In addition, information on blood flow through the mesenteric arteries is different in a fasting state versus non-fasting. Please let the sonographer know if you have not been fasting prior to this exam.

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor. Small sips of water are okay.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam of your mesenteric arteries.
  • The sonographer will ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. You will be asked to raise your shirt halfway up your torso.
  • The sonographer will move a transducer around your abdomen to obtain images. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.
  • The sonographer may ask you to hold your breath at times during the exam.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your abdomen.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Raynaud's Syndrome Evaluation

A Raynaud’s Syndrome evaluation is designed to detect cold sensitivity in the hands or feet caused by spasms of the small arteries in the fingers or toes.

Why do I need the Raynaud’s Syndrome evaluation?

This test is used to:

  • Evaluate the small arteries of the fingers and/or toes for evidence of arterial spasm following cold exposure, which can cause color changes in the fingers and/or toes.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the Raynaud’s Syndrome evaluation.
  • To document the arterial pulse in your fingers or toes, the sonographer will tape a small sensor to the finger or toe being evaluated. The sonographer will also wrap a small blood pressure cuff around the finger or toe.
  • Arterial waveforms will be obtained and a blood pressure will be taken on every finger/toe on both hands/feet. You will be asked to hold your hand or foot in a bowl of ice water for three (3) minutes. The sonographer will guide you through this. After cold immersion, waveforms and blood pressures will be retaken.

How will I feel during the test?

You may feel discomfort in your hand or foot while it is immersed in ice water.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes about 60-75 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Renal Artery Ultrasound

A renal artery ultrasound evaluates the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.

Images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the abdomen.

Why do I need a renal artery ultrasound?

This test is used to:

  • Look for blockages or narrowing of the renal arteries which may contribute to hypertension or renal dysfunction.
  • Monitor existing renal artery disease, or follow-up after surgical intervention.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

DO NOT eat or drink for 8 hours prior to this test. You may take small sips of water.

Please do not chew gum or smoke the day of the test.

If you are diabetic and unable to fast, please eat a low-fat diet (like toast, fruit or juice). No dairy products, carbonated beverages or beverages with caffeine.

Why can’t I eat or drink anything before this exam?

Fasting before the exam helps to minimize interference from bowel. When you eat, drink, or even chew gum, you swallow air into the stomach and bowel. Excess air in the bowel reduces ultrasound visibility of the renal arteries. 

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor. Small sips of water are okay.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam of your renal arteries.
  • The sonographer will ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. You will be asked to raise your shirt halfway up your torso and to move your pants down to the tops of your hips.
  • The sonographer will move a transducer around your abdomen to obtain images. The transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.
  • The sonographer may ask you to hold your breath at times or roll onto your side during the exam.

How will I feel during the test?

You should feel no significant discomfort during this test. You will feel the pressure of the transducer on your abdomen.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes between 45-60 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

A thoracic outlet evaluation is used to detect compression of the blood vessels in the thoracic outlet, located in the shoulder region.

Compression of the artery, vein or nerve that travel through the thoracic outlet can cause pain, numbness, weakness and swelling in the arm and/or hand, and can also increase the risk of blood clot or aneurysm.

The exam consists of an ultrasound to evaluate the arteries and veins in your shoulder region as well as a test that evaluates the arterial pulse in your finger while your arm is in different positions.

Ultrasound images are acquired using a hand held probe (transducer) that is applied to the neck and shoulder.

Why do I need a Thoracic Outlet evaluation?

This test is used to:

Evaluate the arteries and veins that pass through the thoracic outlet in the shoulder.

Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?

Yes. Eat and drink as you normally would the day of the test (unless you are also scheduled that day for an ultrasound exam that requires fasting).

Should I take my medications the day of the test?

Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor.

What happens during the test?

  • A vascular sonographer will perform the thoracic outlet evaluation.
  • To monitor the arterial pulse in your arm, the sonographer will tape a small sensor to the index finger of your hand. The sonographer will record arterial waveforms with your arm at rest and with your arm in different positions. This will be done on both arms.
  • For the ultrasound exam, you may be asked to remove your shirt and wear a gown. The ultrasound exam will start at the neck and extend along the shoulder on each side of the body. The ultrasound transducer will have a small amount of gel on the end of it. The gel used during the exam is water-soluble and easily washes off with soap and water.

How will I feel during the test?

You may feel discomfort in your arms while they are held in different positions during this test. You should feel no significant discomfort during the ultrasound exam.

How long does the test take?

This exam usually takes about 45 minutes, depending on many variables. After the test, you may go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.

How do I get the results of my test?

After a vascular surgeon has interpreted your exam, the results will be sent to your referring physician and/or the vascular surgeon who will go over the results with you during a follow-up appointment.

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