Vascular testing at Mason City Clinic
Comprehensive vascular testing is one of many critical services we provide at Mason City Clinic. Our vascular testing currently includes:
Contact our Vascular Surgery Center: 641-494-5261
Abdominal Aaortic Aneurysm (AAA) Ultrasound
The aorta is the body’s largest blood vessel. It starts in the heart and continues through the chest and abdomen to the legs. An aneurysm is a bulge in the artery wall when the walls balloon outward with the pressure of the blood flow inside. If an aneurysm bursts, it can cause heavy, life-threatening internal bleeding. Aneurysms can form in arteries throughout the body, but most occur in the aorta. If the aneurysm occurs in the lower section of the aorta, it is known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm; if it occurs in the portion of the aorta in your chest, it is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is suspected, an aortic ultrasound will be ordered to confirm this diagnosis. Ultrasound utilizes sound waves in scanning the aorta to give detailed information concerning the blood flow and quality of musculature around the area. The procedure requires a soft gel to be spread across the area to be observed which helps the sound waves travel between the machine and the body. The actual imaging itself is painless, but if the area to be imaged was tender beforehand, some discomfort may ensue.
If an aneurysm is discovered, it will be monitored closely through regular ultrasound scanning. Many remain small and never rupture. Large, fast-growing, leaking or painful aneurysms may require surgery. Surgery is performed immediately on aneurysms that threaten imminent rupture or that have already ruptured, although the procedure is less successful once the vessel has burst.
Patients at risk for this condition, including smokers and those over the age of 60, should be screened regularly for an abdoominal aortic aneurysm through imaging tests or genetic testing.
Venous ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test that uses sound waves to create pictures of vein structures and blood flow to help accurately diagnose venous conditions.
Also known as lower extremity ultrasound, this diagnostic test can assess the veins for diseases such as dilatation, known as varicose veins, that can cause pain and tiredness of the legs. It also assesses if there is a clot in the veins that could possibly lead to pulmonary embolism. Your doctor will determine which type of procedure is most effective for your individual symptoms or condition. Once the results have been analyzed, your doctor will determine a personalized treatment plan for your condition.
Arterial Doppler/Duplex Ultrasound
An arterial Doppler/duplex ultrasound is often performed to evaluate blood flow in patients complaining of leg or arm pain, numbness, tingling and fatigue, as these symptoms may be indicative of a narrowing or blockage of the major arteries. Doppler technology uses sound waves to detect blood flow and identify any differences in blood pressure within different areas of the arms and legs.
During the Doppler/duplex ultrasound procedure, blood pressure is taken with a cuff at several areas along the arm and legs, and a transducer is moved across the area to detect blood flow through the areas before and after the blood pressure cuff is inflated. Patients may experience mild cramping as the cuff cuts off circulation in the targeted area. Patients can return to their regular activities immediately after the test.
Carotid Duplex Ultrasound
A carotid duplex ultrasound is a diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves to detect blood flow problems in the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are located in the neck and send blood to the brain. Blood clots and narrowed arteries are among the conditions that can be diagnosed through a carotid duplex. This test is commonly performed on patients who recently had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Carotid duplex is usually performed with the patient lying down on their back. A gel is applied to the skin and a handheld machine known as a transducer is run lightly across the neck along the carotid arteries. The transducer sends sound waves through the neck forming imaging of their arrangement. Patients can return to their regular activities immediately after the test.
To learn more about our Vascular Services, please call 641-494-5261 today to schedule an appointment. Our vascular testing patients come to us from Mason City, Algona, Iowa Falls, New Hampton and Charles City.