Ultrasound technology is a method of imaging, during which high-frequency sound waves are used to develop pictures of what is happening inside the body. Its most well-known use is during pregnancy, but it has a more widespread benefit. One such use is to diagnose vein disease.
With ultrasound technology, sound waves that are beyond the human ear’s ability to detect are emitted through a transducer. As the sound waves bounce back, the echoes are used to determine the size and shape of organs and soft tissues. This information is converted to an image that is displayed on a computer screen, allowing the doctor to see what is inside the body.
When ultrasound technology is used to diagnose vein disease, short bursts of ultrasonic waves can detect the direction and speed of blood flow. Doctors can use this information to determine if the blood flow has been impacted by narrowing blood vessels or other obstructions. They can also detect the presence of blood clots.
There are a number of vein diseases that can be detected by ultrasound, including aneurysms, deep vein thrombosis, peripheral artery disease and varicose veins.
An aneurysm is caused by a weak place in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the vessel to bulge. Many aneurysms can go undetected and will cause no problems. However, ultrasound technology enables doctors to detect those that do put patients at risk so they can evaluate treatment options.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is the term used for blood clots that are deep within the body, usually in muscle tissue. These clots can break loose and travel to the heart, lungs or brain. If the blood flow to the brain is blocked, a stroke will occur. A heart attack can happen if the flow to the heart is blocked.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral artery disease is a condition caused by plaque buildup in the arteries. This can impede the flow of blood to the head, limbs and organs. Plaque consists of fat, cholesterol or other substances at higher than normal levels in the blood.
Varicose veins are veins that are twisted or enlarged near the surface of the skin and are most common in the legs and ankles. They are caused by weakened veins and valves. The valves help to keep the blood flowing in the right direction. The risk increases with age, and the condition can also be hereditary. Individuals with risk factors should discuss ultrasound options with our doctors.
Ultrasound technology can be used to diagnose and treat vein disease. If you are suffering from venous issues, make an appointment at the Advanced Vein and Laser Centre in Libertyville. We also serve the Chicago area. Contact us today to schedule your consultation to learn more about our treatments options for vein disease.