The diagnosis of vascular disorders such as aneurysms, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and chronic venous insufficiency (inability of veins to pump enough blood back to the heart) requires specialized cardiology tests. Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center offers a broad range of advanced diagnostic ultrasound services and is actively involved in the development of new techniques and new capabilities.
The most common vascular diagnostic procedure is vascular ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of your veins and arteries. Ultrasound with Doppler is a special type of ultrasound that detects moving blood cells to measure the speed and direction of blood flow.
Here's how it works:
- After you're positioned on an examining table, the technician will apply a water-based gel to the area being examined.
- The technician will place the transducer (a wand that transmits ultrasound waves) firmly against your body and move it around the area being examined.
- If a Doppler ultrasound is being performed, you may occasionally hear whooshing sounds as your blood flow is measured.
- Most ultrasounds take less than 30 minutes, and you'll be able to resume normal activities immediately.
- A radiologist will analyze the images and send a signed report to your cardiologist, who will share the results with you.
For more information about vascular diagnostics at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, please call 713-DEBAKEY (332-2539) or complete our online contact us form.
- Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) / Vascular age
- Venous and arterial doppler
- Vascular screening, which includes screening for carotid artery, abdominal aortic aneurysm and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).