Vascular Centers of America

Enhancing the quality of life and promoting wellness through Vascular Testing.

Most people know what a heart attack is, and most people believe that it’s important to prevent, detect and treat heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 KILLER in America. Over 700,000 people suffer from a heart attack every year.

However, most people don’t know much about strokes. They are the #3 KILLER in America. About 30 million Americans are at risk for strokes & related vascular diseases.
$70 billion is spent every year on the care of stroke victims. Anyone over 55 can have one. Strokes are related to many vascular diseases. These include peripheral arterial disease (or “PAD”), carotid artery disease (the carotid artery goes up the side of your neck to your brain) and aortic aneurysms. The aorta the major blood vessel in your body.

Most people don’t know that vascular diseases cause death and terrible disability – almost as much as heart attacks, and more than any kind of cancer. Over 21% of the United States’ population is over 55 – and if you are, you stand a greater risk of vascular disease – and heart disease.

About 15% of all people who are tested for vascular diseases (with an ultrasound) show signs of vascular disease. These results include blocked carotid arteries, aortic aneurysms and PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease). 15% of randomly screened Americans is a very large number.

Tests Offered

Vascular Ultrasound
A vascular ultrasound, also called a duplex ultrasound, is an imaging test used to see how blood moves through your arteries and veins. It measures the speed of the flow of blood and can reveal if there are any blockages. Our health care team uses vascular ultrasound to diagnose a number of conditions, including varicose veins, abdominal aneurysm and arterial occlusion.

The vascular ultrasound is a combination of a general ultrasound and a Doppler ultrasound. The general ultrasound uses sound waves, which reflect off tissues in your body to create an image. A Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood. The image reveals blockages affecting your blood flow or problems in the blood vessels.

Vascular ultrasound provides pictures of the body’s veins and arteries. A Doppler ultrasound study is usually part of a vascular ultrasound examination.

Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

Test Procedure

Involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel to expose the body to high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves.
An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than a plain x-ray image and involves no radiation exposure.

Test Procedure

  • Look for the cause of abnormal heart sounds (murmurs or clicks), an enlarged heart, unexplained chest pains, shortness of breath, or irregular heartbeats.
  • Check the thickness and movement of the heart wall.
  • Look at the heart valves and check how well they work.
  • See how well an artificial heart valve is working.
  • Measure the size and shape of the heart’s chambers.
  • Check the ability of your heart chambers to pump blood (cardiac performance). During an echocardiogram, your doctor can calculate how much blood your heart is pumping during each heartbeat (ejection fraction). You might have a low ejection fraction if you have heart failure.
  • Detect a disease that affects the heart muscle and the way it pumps, such as cardiomyopathy.
  • Look for blood clots and tumors inside the heart.