Ultrasound - Venous Doppler
A venous Doppler is a specialized ultrasound procedure that evaluates the veins throughout the body in order to determine the cause of varicose veins, as well as plan out treatment of affected veins and identify blood clots, vessel narrowing, tumors and other abnormalities within the veins. Doppler technology allows the movement of blood through the veins to be viewed as well.
During the venous Doppler procedure, a clear gel is applied to the skin of the targeted area, and a transducer is moved back and forth against the skin to produce images of the internal venous structures. This procedure is painless and takes less than 30 minutes to perform. Venous ultrasound is highly effective in identifying blood clots before they lead to serious complications, and also produces clearer images than other imaging procedures.
A CT angiogram, also known as a CTA, is a minimally invasive procedure that combines computed tomography with a contrast material to produce detailed images of blood vessels throughout the body and determine if any narrowing has occurred. During the procedure, pictures are taken from several different angles; the pictures are then joined together to create a multi-view, detailed image of the area.
Who is this procedure for?
This procedure can be used to examine blood vessels in the:
- and more
It is used to detect conditions that affect the blood vessels of the body, including:
- Renal disease
Aside from its diagnostic purposes, a CT angiogram can also be used to plan intricate operations, such as a coronary bypass, and to help guide surgeons as they make repairs to blood vessels and implant stents and other treatment materials. Women who are pregnant should typically not undergo this procedure to prevent any harm to the fetus.
How should I prepare for this procedure?
On the day of the CT angiogram, patients should wear loose clothing and should remove all metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses and hair clips. Hearing aids and other removable objects may need to be removed as well.
Patients should stop eating six hours prior to the exam, but can continue to drink clear liquids in order to protect the organs and allow fluid to travel easily through the blood vessels. It is important to notify the physician of any recent illnesses or long-term medical conditions before undergoing this procedure.
What happens during the procedure?
Before the procedure begins, the doctor will administer a small amount of contrast material through intravenous injection, and wait for it to travel to the targeted area. The patient will lie on the exam table and will be moved through the CT machine, which rapidly obtains images of the area. The patient may be asked to hold his or her breath while the images are being taken. The cross-sectional images are then reconstructed to create a 3D image of the area. The entire CT angiogram procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes to perform.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
A CT angiogram produces detailed images of the blood vessels that can help detect narrowing and other abnormalities early enough to provide effective treatment, often before surgical intervention is required. CT angiography is less invasive than other types of angiogram procedures and provides more detailed results as well, making it an ideal choice for many patients.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography
Magnetic resonance angiography, also known as an MR angiogram or MRA, uses a magnetic field, radio waves and contrast material to produce detailed images of blood vessels throughout the body. This procedure does not use ionizing radiation, and can effectively detect, diagnose and aid in the treatment of heart disorders, stroke and other blood vessel diseases.
Who is the MRA procedure for?
An MRA is used to examine blood vessels in the brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, neck, legs, abdomen and more. It can be used to detect atherosclerosis, aneurysms, trauma and other blood vessel abnormalities. In addition to its diagnostic purposes, this procedure can also help plan for surgeries such as a coronary bypass, or guide doctors as they repair damaged and diseased blood vessels with stents and other treatment methods.
The MRA procedure should not be performed on women who are pregnant in order to protect the fetus from the strong magnetic field.
How should I prepare for the MRA procedure?
On the day of the MRA procedure, patients should wear loose clothing and remove all metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses and hair clips. Hearing aids, dentures and other removable objects should be taken out as well to avoid interfering with the exam.
The physician will give directions about any special steps to take before the procedure. If a contrast material is being used, the patient may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for several hours before the exam.
What happens during the MRA procedure?
During the MRA procedure, the doctor will inject a contrast material intravenously into a vein in the hand or arm. The patient will lie on the exam table and then move into the magnetic field of the MRI unit, where a series of images will be taken. The patient may be moved through the machine several times. The MRA procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to perform.
What are the benefits of the MRA procedure?
An MRA can effectively diagnose and detect images of the blood vessels more quickly and less invasively than a catheter angiogram. This procedure can often eliminate the need for surgery through early detection and identification of conditions.