Varicose veins are large, dilated veins located in the legs. Varicose veins are a common irregularity, affecting both sexes, and often result in serious problems when left untreated.
Varicose veins are responsible for a range of lower limb symptoms such as swelling, heaviness, aching, tired restless legs, cramps, itching, and tingling. Ultrasound is used to identify the cause of varicose veins to allow targeted treatment.
The carotid and vertebral arteries supply blood to the brain. The carotid arteries can become narrowed as we age, and diseased carotid arteries is the leading cause of stroke.
Ultrasound is used to assess the blood flow throughout the carotid arteries and determine risk of disease.
Arm artery narrowing is much less common than leg or carotid artery disease, however under certain conditions these arteries can become stenosed or occluded causing ischemia in the hand. Ultrasound is used to assess the the blood flow through the arterial system to determine arterial insufficiency. Functional tests can also be performed to measure blood perfusion during exercise.
Ultrasound is used to assess for dilation or narrowing in the abdominal vessels, particularly the aorta. The walls of the aorta can become dilated to form an aneurysm. When aneurysms are found, ultrasound is then used to monitor the progression of the dilation. It is important to monitor the size of an aneurysm as they are at risk of rupture which can be fatal.
The renal arteries supply the kidneys with blood perfusion. A restriction in the blood supply caused by a narrowing of these arteries can result in an elevated and uncontrollable blood pressure. Ultrasound is used to assess patients with elevated blood pressure to determine whether insufficient perfusion is the cause.
Atherosclerosis is commonly found in the leg arteries of elderly patients or diabetics. Tight stenosis or occlusions can cause claudication. Claudication is the pain or tightness experienced in the thigh or calf when exercising with insufficient blood flow to the muscle. Ultrasound is used to assess blood flow through the legs and identify any obstruction which could lead to claudication.
Deep Vein Thrombosis:
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in the veins of the leg. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening complication of DVT. Long-distance flights may contribute to the risk of DVT. Other risk factors for DVT include coronary heart disease, being overweight or obese, cigarette smoking, pregnancy, taking a high-dose combined oral contraceptive pill, family history of DVT or recent surgery or injury. Ultrasound is a quick, painless and reliable method of assessing for evidence of a blood clot.