Vascular Evaluation & 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. 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 stent is a small wire mesh cylinder that is used to keep narrowed arteries and blood vessels open. The stent is placed in an artery after the balloon angioplasty catheter procedure. It is placed in the area that had been blocked and then released to an open position. The stent remains in the artery, holding it open to improve blood flow to the heart. Over time, the inside lining of the artery will grow over the metal surface of the stent.
Stents offer many benefits to patients by reducing the risk of a re-narrowing of an artery that often occurs after a balloon angioplasty procedure. Stents can also keep an artery open if it has been injured by the catheter. After a stent has been placed, patients must take a blood thinning agent to reduce the risk of a blood clot developing.
Angiogram & Angioplasty
Arteries can become blocked in nearly any part of the body, not just the heart. Over time, plaque and other debris build up in the arteries which causes them to become narrowed. This narrowing of the arteries because of the build-up of plaque, known as atherosclerosis, affects blood flow which can lead to serious cardiac complications if left untreated.
To unblock the artery, the area with the blockage must be precisely targeted. During a diagnostic procedure, known as an angiogram, a contrast dye is injected into the blood vessels. Using X-ray imaging the location and severity of the blockage is identified. Once this has been done, the angioplasty procedure can be performed to help clear the blockage.
During an angioplasty, also known as a percutaneous coronary intervention, a catheter with a small deflated balloon is inserted through the groin and threaded to the blockage. Once there, the balloon is slowly inflated pushing the plaque aside to widen the artery. A mesh tube, called a stent, may be placed in the artery to keep it open after the procedure and reduce the risk of the artery narrowing. This procedure is most effective in treating larger arteries or those with short narrowed areas, although other types of arteries can also be successfully treated with an angioplasty.